Mediation & Alternative Dispute Resolution
Attorney and mediator Michael J. Levey is certified as a mediator by the University of Southern Maine’s Center for Continuing Education, and has been selected by Maine’s Judicial Department to mediate foreclosures as a part of Maine’s new Foreclosure Diversion Project. He is also mediates small claims matters for the Maine courts.
Mediation services. Michael offers his skills as a mediator to lawyers and their clients, and to unrepresented parties, in the following areas:
- Family law matters: divorce, division of marital property, spousal support, child support, child custody and parental rights
- Real estate law matters: boundary line disputes, real estate brokerage disputes, real estate home inspection disputes, and related matters
- Home construction disputes, between homeowners and contractors
- Business disputes: disputes involving small businesses, between co-owners or partners, and between owners and customers
- Other matters.
The mediation process. Mediation is a form of resolving disputes, which provides the parties an opportunity to settle their dispute before spending the time and money on a courtroom trial.
- The parties select a mediator.
- The parties and the mediator select a date for the mediation.
- The parties meet on the mediation date.
- The parties meet, and with the assistance of the mediator (skilled at helping people in conflict communicate) present their positions and their interests to each other.
- The mediator tries to help the parties find common ground, and tries to help the parties reach a settlement.
- The mediation room is less formal than the courtroom.
- The mediation does not involve the rules of evidence, examination or cross examination.
- The mediation format permits the parties to take breaks and caucus with their attorneys.
- The mediation format permits the parties to be separated and talk separately with the mediator.
- The mediator is neutral, and favors neither side.
- The mediator is not a judge, and does not decide the case.
- What is discussed at the mediation session is confidential.
- If the parties are unable to settle, the mediation ends and the parties proceed in the court system to resolve their dispute.
Benefits of mediation. Mediation offers several benefits:
- It gives the parties a chance to settle the case, giving them control of the outcome, not leaving their future uncertain, to be determined by a judge after a trial.
- It may save the parties time and money.
- It may reduce the courts’ caseload.
- It may preserve (or minimize the damage) to ongoing relationships between the parties (such as separating parents who will continue to co-parent children).
Mediation in Maine courts. Mediation is increasingly used in the Maine courts: Most Superior Court cases now require the parties to use mediation or another form of alternate dispute resolution early in the case. In all divorce and family matters involving children, the law mandates the parties to mediation. By court policy, all divorce cases in which there are no minor children are referred by the court to mediation.
For more information on Michael’s services as a mediator, his fees, or to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.