Collaborative Divorce Law Blog

Monday, September 30, 2013

NJ Supreme Court Rules Decisively on Mediation

Mediators who don’t keep up with important legal developments risk doing disservice to their clients. On August 15, 2013, the NJ Supreme Court published an opinion that provides important guidance for both lawyers who provide mediation services and clients who select mediation for dispute resolution. Click here to read more.

Practice Pointer

An experienced mediator will always spend time at the outset establishing clients' expectations and explaining to parties for whom mediation is being conducted, that aside from the practical reasons to fully resolve all issues during a mediation, once the mediation is "over", it will be difficult to obtain court review to decide any open questions that may not be identified until after the mediation is completed. Unlike arbitration, in mediation, the NJ Supreme Court has made it clear that the courts are not intended as a forum for further clarification or modification of a mediation result, once that mediation has been completed. Clearly, this decision places greater responsibility on the mediator, but it also creates strong incentives for the parties to be comfortable with candor and openness, knowing that their trust will not be betrayed, to reach an agreement on all open issues, an outcome that is certainly more efficient, less time consuming, and less expensive for the participants.

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