Michael F. Pezzulli is a Certified Mediator who is qualified to host in-office mediation sessions. Legal mediation, an “alternative dispute resolution” method, is a process allowing two parties to come to a legal agreement outside of a courtroom. Instead of a costly, drawn-out courtroom battle, the two parties can come to an agreement within a matter of hours. Mediation has been shown to have an overall settlement rate of 83%,1 much higher than the national courtroom settlement rate of 60%.2
Mediators can greatly reduce the cost of defending your claim. First, mediation allows the party advocates to quickly negotiate a settlement face-to-face. This moves the case quickly through the stages of negotiation, reducing court and lawyer fees. Secondly, mediation helps suppress the emotional back-and-forth between injured parties that is drawn out in a long legal battle. With immediate negotiation, the client can see immediate resolution. This has been shown to reduce emotional distress and help the injured parties come to a peaceful agreement.3
Mediators that are certified by the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association (TMCA) have to meet specific training requirements. Credential holders must continually revisit their certifications to keep up with contemporary policies, follow a Code of Ethics, and adhere to a strict Grievance Process that guides the mediation. For more information about TMCA Certified Mediators, visit the website.
1. Numbers from the Dallas Mediation Project. Statistics on Mediation in the 101st District Court as of June 12, 1992 as condensed in Court Annexed Mediation (1993, State Bar of Texas MCLE). Total number of cases mediated 981, total settled 818 (83%), settlement rate through private mediators, 85%.