Mediation: a Tool for Resolution and Revenue

Mediation: a Tool for Resolution and Revenue

MEDIATION: A TOOL FOR RESOLUTION AND REVENUE Christine A. Derdarian, J.D. Disputes in State Government Filing litigation on behalf of state agencies Defending state agencies against litigation Frame of reference always win/loss Litigation perpetuates win/loss mentality

Winning cases sometimes costs more Concerns of state agencies -Ballooning workloads -Less staff -Smaller budgets Mediation-The Advantages Confidential, private, voluntary process used to resolve disputes Parties retain control Full opportunity to express

concerns Higher level of compliance Each party is required to listen to the other Faster and less expensive than litigation Reduces effects of power differentials and advocates skills Mediation-The Disadvantages No precedents created No guarantee of

resolution Who Benefits From Mediation The Courts

Government Agencies Companies Professionals/Clients Individuals Families Employers/Employees Everyone Mediation in Your Agency

Workload/loss of control Mandate to collect property taxes Revenue critical to the locale Efficient government earns

respect and compliance Savings in money Savings in time Creates trust and cooperation Eliminates need for administrative hearings Brings in revenue Replaces win/lose model with win/win model Creates mutuality in problem solving Recognized by many state jurisdictions and legal institutions

Mediation Protocol Decide upon a uniform system of mediation Refine notice procedures to taxpayers indicating availability/requirement for mediation Know factual and legal issues Know your bottom line Bring in outside mediator to ensure neutrality and control of mediation environment

Understand litigation is always an option Have policy on press relations Expect the unexpected Phases of Mediation-The Beginning Decide seating arrangement Introductions Rules of engagement -Confidentiality/Signed Agreement -Neutrality of mediator -Informality of the process

-Ground rules for conduct -Voluntary participation -Note taking -Full disclosure -Mediator is not a judge or trier of fact and law -Authority to enter an agreement -Caucas -Agreement as an enforceable contract Phases of Mediation-The Middle

Whos on first Information sharing Framing the issues Facilitating discussions Caucas with parties separately Phases of Mediation-The End

Parties own the agreement Keep language simple Put it in writing Make certain all points are covered What the Future Holds Pending legislation Implementation New opportunity to streamline work New opportunity to

achieve compliance New opportunity to bring in revenue Resources Michigan State BarADR Section County mediation programs County bar associations

Private mediators Reference links Conclusions Daunting challenges Mediation is the wave of the future Change in mindset is worth the effort The End

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