How Mediation Can Reduce Your Legal Expenses
Over the past two decades, countless people with legal disputes have increasingly turned to mediation to resolve their conflicts. Mediation has proven to be an effective means of resolving a wide array of legal disputes, including divorce and family related matters, business, contract, and real estate disputes, and personal injury matters.
There are many reasons why mediation has become a successful means of dispute resolution. One of the primary reasons is that litigation is expensive. Although court costs are usually only several hundred dollars, lawyers in the Asheville area of Western North Carolina routinely charge between $250-$400 per hour for legal services, depending on their experience and credentials. In order to prepare your case for a trial, your lawyer must be well versed in the facts and circumstances of your case and prepared to present and argue your case to the court in an effective and persuasive manner. This necessarily requires that your lawyer spend considerable time doing such things as reviewing your file, interviewing and preparing witnesses to testify, issuing subpoenas, conducting legal research, compiling trial exhibits, and preparing a trial brief. The time required to perform these services can be extensive and, if your attorney is charging you an hourly rate, your attorney’s fees can add up quickly.
While mediation requires that your lawyer spend time familiarizing himself/herself with the pertinent details of your case, it is less time consuming and far less expensive in comparison to preparing a case for trial. In mediation, you and your attorney have the opportunity to discuss the same evidence with the mediator that you might present at trial. However, the cooperative nature of mediation allows you to avoid certain formalities of the trial process, such as calling on witnesses to testify and introducing and admitting physical evidence. Thus, if your case settles at mediation, you can curtail the attorney’s fees and avoid the time and expense associated with going to trial. Even if your case doesn’t settle at mediation, the information gleaned through the mediation process can help both parties to eliminate or simplify issues that need to be addressed at trial thereby shortening the length of the trial. In that regard, mediation can be a win-win process. The time and resources mediation saves can result in a much smaller dent in your wallet.