Mediation Offers You An Alternative Option

When people seek legal advice, it’s usually because they have a problem that needs to be solved. Traditionally, the way to solve those problems is to hire a lawyer, empower the lawyer to file a lawsuit and hope that somehow, before the case goes to trial, the lawyer is able to negotiate a favorable resolution. If no resolution is possible, then a judge (or jury) hears the case and makes a decision. Most cases, including family law cases and bankruptcies, proceed that way.

The Law Offices of Susan J. Pearlstein provides mediation services in family law, bankruptcy, landlord-tenant cases, disputes with contractors, decedent estate conflicts and all other noncriminal matters. Call 412-567-6143 .

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is a process where all parties to a dispute agree to meet together, under the guidance and assistance of a mediator, to work toward the resolution of their problems. The process of resolution is in the hands of the parties: They set the agenda, they identity the issues, and they work to resolve the problems. The beauty of mediation is that there is no third person — no judge, no jury — telling you what to do or how to do it. You are in charge of your case and the solving of your problems.

As a mediator, my job is to help the parties reach a resolution that everyone can live with. If what you want is a 100-percent resolution of all issues in your favor, then mediation may not be for you; you should roll the dice with a judge or jury and litigate. But if what you want is to engage in a process where all of the parties strive to reach an agreement where everyone’s interests and needs are taken into account, then mediation may be right for you.

Divorce, Child Custody And Grandparents’ Rights Mediation

Any legal challenge in family court can produce great levels of stress. Divorcing couples, parents involved in custody disputes and grandparents who are seeking custody or visitation rights may choose to avoid costly litigation and contentious battles through voluntary mediation. Parents, grandparents and others involved in a family law problem can decide to work through their differences with the assistance of a third-party neutral to craft cost-effective solutions to resolve difficult family law differences.

Many people find resolving problems in mediation to be empowering. A mediator serves to facilitate discussions that allow the parties to take into account their own family dynamics, personal needs and preferences. Parties frequently find a sense of relief from retaining more control over the outcome of the divorce or custody dispute than they have before a judge. I have more than 30 years of experience in family law. My experience as a lawyer, negotiator and mediator is invaluable for parties seeking to resolve family law problems, including divorce settlements, through mediation.

Landlord-Tenant Mediation

Landlord and tenant disputes can come in all shapes and sizes. Often a landlord and tenant are not able to reach an agreement to settle a dispute without the assistance of a trained and knowledgeable mediator. Mediation is a viable and cost-effective alternative to the hostility and public exposure that litigating in open court can bring. Mediation is a voluntary process that allows parties to confidentially resolve their differences without placing the matter before a judge, which could lead to an all-or-nothing ruling. Nearly any kind of housing dispute can be resolved through mediation, including noise complaints, disputes over rent, security deposits, repairs of the rental property and property damage matters. If landlords and tenants both agree to mediate, it can save them time, money and stress.

Common Questions About Mediation

  • Do I need an attorney? It’s up to you. Some people feel more comfortable having their own lawyer assist them during mediation, while others prefer to minimize costs by keeping the professionals out of the room. Either way, the mediator is a professional and is there to guide you to a successful resolution of the issues.

  • What if I’m willing to mediate and the other side is not? Some mediation programs are ordered by the court, like initial custody mediation sessions through the Family Division of the Allegheny County Court. No one has a choice; you must attend. But if you’re interested in private, noncourt-ordered mediation, then all parties have to agree to the process.

  • Is mediation expensive? Mediation often costs far less than litigation. Because it’s often possible to resolve issues after only a few meetings, which can be scheduled in a timeframe that suits your schedule, not the court’s schedule, it is possible to achieve successful results in far less time than in the litigation process. Time is money, and the less time you spend preparing for litigation, the more money you save.

Mediation is not for everyone. This law firm provides mediation services as an option, not a one-solution-fits-all answer. Call Susan J. Pearlstein to discuss whether mediation is right for you. If it is, and the other side is willing to sit down and talk, we can get started right away.

Please call 412-567-6143 to reach either my downtown Pittsburgh or Mon Valley (near Century III Mall) office. You can also reach me through email.