Thomas E. Albro has been certified as a mediator by the Supreme Court of Virginia since 1998. His decades of litigation and settlement negotiation experience have provided him a keen insight into the issues that concern both parties in a mediation. Since joining the McCammon Group in 1997, Mr. Albro has mediated disputes in the areas of medical and legal malpractice, personal injury, defamation, wrongful death, and contract. Please inquire with the McCammon Group, Ltd. to learn more about retaining Mr. Albro as a mediator.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process in which two parties agree to use a trained, neutral third party to assist them in resolving a legal dispute, or a conflict which may become a legal dispute. Neither party can force the other to participate in mediation, although courts can and often do order parties to attempt mediation before litigation proceeds. Attorneys for both parties sometimes participate in mediation, but some mediations are successful when only the parties themselves meet with the neutral.
Why Choose Mediation?
Mediation offers many advantages compared to litigation, arbitration, and conventional negotiation without a mediator. Most importantly, parties who resolve disputes through mediation are usually more satisfied with the result than those who litigate. It is easy to understand why, considering that traditional litigation is usually more expensive, time-consuming, and public. Mediations are typically concluded within a day, rather than dragging on for months or years like litigation. In contrast to courtroom litigation, communications exchanged through mediation are typically confidential.
Parties in litigation tend to press their strengths and attack the opposing side’s weaknesses, but a skilled mediator creates an informal atmosphere and educates the parties on their points of common interest. The mediator’s chief job is to facilitate the communication between the parties by offering an unbiased, neutral perspective on the strengths of the parties’ claims. These efforts to improve communication are partially responsible for the approximately seventy to eighty percent of mediations that end successfully by a negotiated agreement. Parties who reach a compromise through mediation are also more likely to comply with the agreement compared to parties subject to a court-imposed judgment.
How Can I Begin Mediation?
Mediation typically begins with one side or the other approaching the opposing party and suggesting mediation as an alternative to conventional litigation. Of course, the sooner in the litigation process mediation occurs, the greater its cost- and time-saving advantages for the parties. Although typically parties will begin the mediation process by agreeing between themselves, it is not uncommon for one party to approach a mediator and request that he or she suggest mediation to the other side. This process may be helpful in acrimonious cases.