MEDIATION, ADR AND FACILITATION


Conflicts and Disputes are a fact of life. They happen in our interactions with family, co-workers, friends, neighbors, and strangers, and we see conflict everywhere across the globe from the political arena to the playground. Unfortunately, conflict resolution is not easy to achieve. In fact, for humans, conflict resolution is largely counterintuitive. The human reaction to conflict is usually an “either/or”, fight or flight.

But there are options for achieving resolutions and positive transformation. Alternative dispute resolution provides parties with the opportunity to get beyond disagreements in a non-adversarial, cost effective and efficient manner. Our approach to alternative dispute resolution involves listening, coaching and directing conversations, with a goal of creating an environment of cooperation and respect.

Our Services include:

Mediation

Mediation is a voluntary, confidential process where parties attempt to settle disputes. It provides disputants with the opportunity to create a mutually acceptable and timely settlement in a controlled environment with a minimal monetary and emotional cost. As our court system becomes more strained and burdened, mediation is a way for the parties to remain in control. For a majority of disputes, mediation holds the promise of reaching a solution that leaves all parties satisfied with both the process and outcome.

We specialize in mediating disputes involving real estate and land use, business and contractual disputes, estates and inheritances, public policy, construction, and employment and organizational conflict throughout Maine, New Hampshire, and all other US jurisdictions .

There are many advantages to mediation, including:

High success rate: Studies indicate that in the vast majority of cases where a mediated settlement is reached, both parties fare better than with litigated resolutions.

Convenience: Mediation sessions are scheduled at the parties' convenience.

Favorable setting: Mediation is done in an informal setting, with a process and procedures that designed to minimizes stress.

Self-Determined Outcome: The parties decide the terms of any agreement, and are free to choose whether or not to enter into an agreement.

Cost Effectiveness: Mediation costs a fraction of litigation.

Ability to maintain or repair relationships: Due to the adversarial nature of litigation, litigants can severely and sometime permanently damage relationships. Mediation offers parties a first step towards reconciliation.

Confidentiality: Mediation lets parties keep sensitive matters confined to the bargaining table. Litigation involves public filing of documents, open court hearings, and potential press coverage.

Corporate Conflict Resolution

Conflicts in corporate settings are common. Organizations are constantly challenged by external pressures that result in internal conflict, amongst partners and employees; management and departments. Effective and appropriate conflict resolution is critical to the health and success of your organization. We can serve as a neutral third party to guide parties through the dispute resolution process. We offer strategic ideas for planning and moving through conflicts.

Corporate Facilitation

Facilitation is a process that encourages group dialogue and collaboration. You may have specific issues to address or need a forum to explore options as a group. A neutral facilitator guides the decision-making process, leads comment and problem-solving sessions in a group setting, and creates a productive environment for open dialogue.

Our services include pre-facilitation discussions with staff to ensure a productive session. At the actual facilitation, we will work with you to help manage communications, discussions, and negotiations so that everyone has the opportunity to give thorough consideration to all of the issues, implications, and possible resolutions. Outcomes and decisions are reached through mutual agreement, and are never imposed by the facilitator.

Our Staff

Wilkinson Law Offices’ alternative dispute resolution services are lead by Sarah Wilkinson. Sarah has proven record of reaching resolutions through mediation. Her background in real estate and land use law, corporate and business transactions, and estate planning and administration allow her to be a fully informed and effective neutral for those types of matters. Sarah has served as a volunteer mediator in Maine’s foreclosure mediation program.