regularly occur between condominium and apartment owners and their associations.
These conflicts are costly in time, money, quality of life, emotions and morale, yet no neighborhood or relationship is free of it.
During litigation, these conflicts escalate. Adversarial litigation can result in injured feelings, demoralization, resistance, illness, financial loss, increased operational costs, higher attorneys fees, and poor judicial decisions, which can destroy individuals lives, their relationships and the associations they built.
Rather than wait years for litigation, going through hours of discovery, depositions, meetings, motions, hearing dates, jury selection and trial, then risking the possibility of an adverse decision or unjust damages, disputes can be resolved within days, based on voluntary agreements reached through mediation. While litigation costs thousands of dollars even in simple cases, mediation produces settlements for only hundreds. Mediation can resolve over 90% of the conflicts brought to it. Disputes in mediation are resolved informally, respectfully and voluntarily, by consensus. Agreements are often reached within a few hours, at a fraction of their cost in time, energy and legal fees, and far greater client satisfaction.
Resolving conflict can also produce increased awareness, learning, better communication, trust, new relationships and opportunities for positive change. Mediation helps parties let go of their conflicts, reconcile, work better as a team, and get on with their lives.
How Mediation Works:
Mediation is a confidential, voluntary method of dispute resolution in which the parties settle their dispute through effective communication, exploration of options, collaborative negotiation, problem-solving and compromise.
- Help parties identify the concrete problems that require solution
- Deal with emotional issues that interfere with agreement
- Locate expertise to resolve financial and business decisions
- Develop options for mutual gain and "win/win" outcomes
- Prepare a non-binding arbitration award if requested
Co-mediation teams work to increase cooperation between attorneys, claims managers, claimants and their families, which increases the likelihood of settlement. Even where settlements are not reached, the parties walk away with a better understanding of their case, creating a greater likelihood of settlement later on.
Following agreement, the parties may request a mediation agreement in plain language, or a detailed legal settlement agreement.
Center for Dispute Resolution
The Center for Dispute Resolution is a multi-disciplinary association of professionals with wide experience in arbitration, mediation and other forms of conflict resolution, and expertise in law, psychology, real estate, labor, management, and other professions.
What Mediation Offers:
Cooperative Planning for the Future
Condominium owners and associations may resolve their disputes by:
- Becoming realistic about results
- Agreeing on relevant principles and undisputed facts
- Openly addressing attitude and emotional problems
- Communicating respectfully and making joint decisions
- Discussing damages and determining fair compensation
Privacy and Control
The parties determine the issues to be agreed upon confidentially, and they decide the outcome, rather than giving away negotiating power to juries, lawyers or a judge. The mediation team helps each party acquire needed skills or advice in order to reach a decision. Control over process remains with the parties.
Lowered Cost in Time and Money
Mediation allows parties to resolve issues rapidly when they need immediate solutions. The cost is much lower than when negotiating is done by lawyers. Fees are shared by the parties. In some cases, if agreement is not reached, fees are paid by the initiating party.
Better Follow Through on Agreements
Because both sides feel they were part of the decision, they are more likely to honor their agreements, and there are fewer problems with enforcement.
A Sense of Dignity and Mutual Respect
Mediation encourages parties to understand each other's points of view so they retain personal dignity and respect for each other. Adversarial proceedings often destroy these feelings. Mediation allows both sides to have their "day in court" without being subject to cross examination.
Flexibility in Timing
- Parties may choose mediation any time the need emerges:
- Immediately following an problem or conflict
- After a claim has been filed and before litigation
- After a law suit has been filed and before trial