Brian Barnes has handled countless family law cases and is well-acquainted with the emotions that are frequently intertwined with such matters. As a mediator, his objective is to facilitate agreement upon a solution that leaves both parties content while also reducing the expenses associated with a courtroom trial.

Scott Kee’s broad experience with virtually every type of civil claim has instilled a belief that the most efficient result for parties is frequently found by creating a solution wherein a dispute is resolved short of litigation, thereby allowing the parties to reach an agreed upon resolution.

Mediation versus Court

Scott and Brian have each helped countless people resolve their concerns outside of the courtroom. Mediation is an effective, and efficient, way to resolve disputes. Mediation often saves the parties months of turmoil, thousands of dollars in expenses and also affords the parties the opportunity to settle upon mutually agreeable terms.

The most efficient result for parties is most often found by creating a solution wherein a dispute is resolved short of litigation, thereby allowing the parties to reach an agreed upon resolution. Mediation is generally the most efficient way to accomplish this objective so Scott and Brian each encourage clients to mediate their disputes, while also serving as a mediator to assist other parties in reaching a resolution.

Frequently Asked Questions about Mediation

What is mediation?

Mediation is a confidential, out of court process, where the parties meet with a neutral individual (Scott) to help them makes decisions that lead to a final agreement. The primary objective of mediation is to facilitate a discussion and empower the parties to resolve the matter on acceptable terms.

Why participate in mediation instead of letting a judge or jury decide my case?

Mediation comes with four important benefits:

  1. Cost. While mediation does require a financial investment, the cost pales in comparison to litigation costs and conducting a trial;
  2. Control. You control the result. If you can find acceptable terms upon which to settle, you can put the matter behind you. If you cannot reach acceptable terms, you are not compelled to settle;
  3. Time. Trial dates are often scheduled out a year out. Mediation allows you the opportunity to reach a prompt, and efficient, resolution in lieu of spending months (sometimes years) and thousands of dollars litigating.
  4. Success. Mediation results in a resolution the vast majority of time and is a worthwhile investment in virtually every dispute.

How long does mediation take?

The time it takes to resolve your concerns will depend on the nature of the concerns and how easy it is to come to an acceptable compromise with the other party. Sometime mediations last an hour or two, other times it takes significantly more time to facilitate a resolution. Remember that mediation is totally voluntary, and you control the process. The mediator will work as long as the parties are willing to keep trying to reach a resolution.

Where does the mediation take place?

Mediation is informal to some degree, and takes place in an agreed upon location, like an office. Budd Bay Law has plenty of conference room space in downtown Olympia which is included within the standard fee, if the parties prefer to have a neutral location. Regardless of the location, the mediator from Budd Bay Law will arrive at every mediation prepared and committed to work tirelessly for the benefit of all parties involved.

What is a mediator?

A mediator is a neutral third party, who facilitates communication and information gathering between the parties, discusses with the parties whatever issues they have that need resolution, and works with them to help them reach agreement.

What happens during the mediation process?

The mediator will start by finding out a little about the parties and their case, including the issues that need to be resolved and the facts that need to be discussed. Parties have an opportunity to be part of crafting the process, and should feel free to let the mediator know what is working and what is not so that adjustments can be made along the way, to ensure that the process is as efficient and productive as possible.

Will the mediator decide how my case is resolved?

No, the mediator’s role is to facilitate a discussion and help the parties work towards a resolution. Whether or not the case is resolved remains solely within the control of the parties. The mediator will not act as a judge and does not have the final say. You retain full control over the outcome.

What is the cost of mediation?

We do not charge for travel or mileage, and all mediation fees are included within the standard fee. Scott Kee’s hourly rate is $300 and Brian Barnes’ is $250. An hour of preparation is provided at no cost.  Mediation is often the least expensive, and most effective, of the possible options.

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