Tagline - Around a Rock and Through a Hard Place

Reservations
Calendar
Standard
Fees
About our
Services
Printable
Profile
Contact
Information

Mediation

For detailed information concerning the mediation services that Ms. Gelbin offers, simply click on one of the links below.

General Information
Length of Mediation
Fees and Costs
Mediation Process
Recess
Impasse
Parties Unrepresented by Counsel (Pro Se Parties)
When Parties Should Consider Mediation
Evaluations
Mediation Links

General Information
The premise of mediation is that people know and care best about their own problems.

Mediation can provide a relaxed and informal setting in which to resolve disputes as opposed to the often hostile and competitive environment of a courtroom.

Mediation is confidential and voluntary. Although some cases are ordered into mediation, the parties can not be compelled to enter into a settlement.

Ms. Gelbin's goal is to fairly and efficiently mediate disputes between parties so that each parties' best interest is maximized. Her duty is to be neutral and objective. Her method is to:

  • listen to the parties and attorneys and collect information and data about the cases;

  • inquire as to each participant's knowledge of the law and facts;

  • test each participant's evaluation of the case; and

  • cultivate each party's understanding of their own and the other parties' maximal best interests under the circumstances in an effort to reach a meeting of the minds and to draft a Memorandum of Understanding. Each parties' attorney can use the Memorandum of Understanding to draft such agreements and orders as may be required to give legal effect to its terms.

In order to maximize session results, each participant should come to mediation prepared with the following: (1) knowledge of the facts; (2) an understanding of the law; and (3) a desire to compromise his or her claim(s) to some degree in order to maximize each parties' best interest under the circumstances and to avoid the inherent risks and expenses of trial.

While Ms. Gelbin has been a litigator since 1985 and an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) judge since 1997, mediation law does not allow her to give legal advice to the parties or to decide the outcome of their disputes. Thus, the participants will be making all of the decisions. In order for the mediation session to be productive, the participants should give thought in advance to the strengths and weaknesses of their claims and their chances at trial. It is always helpful if each party prioritizes their needs and wants.

The biggest impediment to a successful mediation is when one party surprises the other party with new and valuable information at the mediation session. Most parties are not willing to make immediate decisions based upon new information. They need time to process and confirm the information before responding to it. If the matter is one between businesses or involving insurance companies, often a party will need to obtain additional settlement authority from others who are not at the mediation. The need for more time may compel a recess in the mediation process.

Top

The Length of Mediation
It is largely up to the parties and the complexity of the case whether mediation will last a half session, a full session or numerous sessions. The parties are usually in the best position to estimate the necessary length of a mediation session. If the parties use the mediation session to engage in unproductive or repetitive arguments, the mediation session will necessarily last longer. After consulting with the parties, Ms. Gelbin may recess or terminate the mediation session if it appears that the parties are unlikely to engage in productive discussions.

Top

Fees and Costs
Please see the Standard Fees section for this information.

Top

Mediation Process
After Ms. Gelbin collects information from all parties, she will attempt to identify those issues on which all parties can agree. The points of agreement will serve as a foundation for the Memorandum of Understanding. The participants are the sole determiners of what to include in the Memorandum of Understanding. The Memorandum of Understanding is never final until all parties agree. Thus, matters on which the parties initially agree may be modified if necessary, based upon compromises made to resolve those issues which are in dispute.

Top

Recess
Ms. Gelbin will call a recess and reschedule another mediation session if more time is needed to reach an agreement, if the parties need to obtain additional information to fully evaluate the claim(s), if the parties need time to re-evaluate their claims based upon the progress of the mediation, or for any other cause she deems reasonable.

Top

Impasse
If the parties are unable to reach a settlement satisfactory to them, Ms. Gelbin will declare an impasse and send her report to the court of jurisdiction. Thereafter, unless the parties otherwise settle, the case will proceed through the usual course of litigation.

Top

Parties Unrepresented by Counsel (Pro Se Parties)
Ms. Gelbin will work with parties who are not represented by counsel or who have not yet filed a lawsuit. However, it is against the ethics rules for her to give legal advice to any or both parties. If a party is considering attending mediation without an attorney, they should consult with an attorney prior to mediation to determine their legal rights and they should consult with an attorney after mediation to review any Memorandum of Understanding and have it drafted in such a way as may be required to give legal effect to its terms.

Top

When Parties Should Consider Mediation
Parties should always give mediation a try, especially if any of the following are true:

  • If they would like to be a part of the process which determines the outcome of their own claim(s);

  • If privacy and confidentiality are important to them;

  • If the law or the court system is inadequate to fashion the relief sought by the parties;

  • If the parties do not wish to expend the time and resources necessary for on-going litigation;

  • If the parties have been unable to resolve their dispute(s) negotiating between themselves;

  • If the conflict is distracting either or both of the parties from other pursuits and draining them of valuable time; or

  • If the conflict is between parties who wish to salvage or rebuild an ongoing relationship (i.e. business concerns, parental concerns, etc.)

Top

Evaluations
At the conclusion of each session, Ms. Gelbin will give each participant an opportunity to give her feedback on an evaluation form. Please complete the form honestly and return it to Ms. Gelbin as soon as possible so that she may better meet the needs of her mediation clients.

Top

Mediation Links
The following are links to the agencies which govern mediation and the rules which apply:

Dispute Resolution Commission
http://www.aoc.state.nc.us/www/drc/

Industrial Commission
http://www.comp.state.nc.us/

Administrative Office of the Courts
http://www.nccourts.org

Top


Attorney-Mediator-Arbitrator
743 Big Tree Drive
Lewisville, NC 27023

Phone: 336 945-0214
Fax: 336 945-0217
Cell: 336-462-1803
ellengelbin@ellengelbin.com