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Mediation & Neutral Evaluation

Mediation & Neutral Evaluation

MEDIATION

Mediation cases are a private and informal way of settling a dispute without relying on a legal judgment issued by a judge or jury. The parties involved in mediation meet with a neutral third party to reach a mutually agreeable solution that will end a conflict. Parties are not forced to agree to a solution in mediation. Rather, the mediator facilitates communication to help the parties reach a mutual agreement – a compromise or settlement. At Lowenthal, our commitment is to support our mediation clients in preparing for and engaging in difficult conversations to develop agreement on issues in conflict. We are especially committed to the creation of an environment which is safe, respectful for all sides in the conflict, and conducive to mutual resolution.

Your mediation will be conducted by Justin Lowenthal. Justin is a practicing business and real estate (residential and commercial) attorney and broker, with significant experience in real estate disputes involving C.A.R. forms, the purchase and sale of real estate assets, earnest money deposits, leasing, broker disputes, easements, boundary disputes, neighbor conflicts, co-ownership matters, joint ventures, partnerships, private equity, business entities and organizations, and construction contracts. He also has experience in matters involving business deals, partnerships, stock transactions, contract performance, fiduciary duties, and fraud. With respect to mediation, Justin has a simple mission:

“Empower the parties to resolve the dispute quickly and inexpensively, outside of court.”

To accomplish this mission, we make ourselves accessible and responsive throughout the mediation process, with online intake forms and quick scheduling, and we provide a relaxed virtual conference setting and comfortable office environment for in-person mediations. We take our role as mediator very seriously – and we don’t mess around. We expect the parties to commit early on in the process and take responsibility for their own success in mediation. Whenever possible, we prefer to avoid fragmented mediations. We believe that:

“Success can be had when parties commit to the process, to be present, and to negotiate productively.”

Advantages of Mediation

In some situations, mediation may be preferable to filing a lawsuit. Mediation provides the following advantages:

  • Confidentiality. There are a few exceptions, but what the parties say during mediation is confidential and not subject to the future use in a lawsuit. Court cases, on the other hand, are matters of public record.
  • Costs less than a lawsuit. Mediation cases cost substantially less than court costs and attorney fees.
  • Faster resolution than going to court. Lawsuits may take years to result in a court ruling, but mediation can take as little as a few hours or a few sessions.
  • The parties decide. The parties in mediation, not a judge or jury, decide on the resolution.
  • The parties communicate directly. Although the parties may choose to communicate through lawyers or the mediator, the parties may also speak directly to each other. The advantage is that the parties engage in a dialogue in real-time.

What Occurs During Mediation

In most mediation cases, there is an introduction, followed by party statements, perhaps an open discussion regarding the dispute, and finally private caucuses (meetings) with the parties to facilitate negotiation with the other party(ies) participating in the mediation with the objective of reaching a written compromise.

In our mediations, we follow a strict format, which we feel gives our mediation clients the best opportunity for a successful mediation:

  • Intake. Parties submit their information online through intake forms.
  • Introductory calls with Justin Lowenthal. Justin will spend approximately 10-15 minutes over the phone with each party or their counsel to learn about the dispute and ensure Lowenthal is a proper fit for the particular mediation.
  • Deposits and commitments are made. Each party and their attorney(s), if any, will sign a mediation agreement and pay any required deposit. Forms will be e-signed for convenience.
  • Mediation scheduled. The mediation will be scheduled for a date and time no later than thirty days from the date the deposits are made and the forms are signed. At this time the parties will choose from online (virtual) or in-person mediation options.
  • Virtual mediation rooms. A virtual mediation room will be opened and the parties will upload documents to be shared privately with the mediator and/or publicly with the other parties.
  • Briefs submitted. Mediation briefs will be prepared by the parties or their counsel and uploaded to the virtual mediation room at least five days prior to the date of the scheduled mediation.
  • MediationThe mediation will be conducted in a “shuttle style,” using private caucuses, whether the mediation is online or in-person. We will begin with group introductions before breaking out into private rooms. There will be a 1-hour break for lunch during the session. For in-person mediations, lunch will be catered for all parties and their counsel.
  • Mediator’s agreement. Once the mediation is successful, Justin will prepare a binding and enforceable mediator’s agreement for the parties to negotiate and sign.

We invite all parties and their counsel to bring in laptops and devices to assist them during the mediation. We offer complimentary WIFI, printing and scanning, as well as coffee, water, tea and other beverages. Parking at our office is easy and convenient. Click here for a map and directions to our office.

NEUTRAL EVALUATION & CONSULTING

Justin Lowenthal has in-depth, industry experience in matters involving residential and commercial real estate, real estate brokerage compliance and licensing, fiduciary duties, and C.A.R. and AIR forms. Mediation clients, attorneys, or other mediators who would like Justin’s opinion on or neutral evaluation of a particular issue or matter, may retain Lowenthal on an hourly or project basis. Justin is also available to consult on various matters throughout litigation proceedings.

RATES

Full day (8 hours) Half day (4 hours) Additional time
Mediation – In-Person $3,600 $2,400 $360/hour
Mediation – Online (Virtual) $3,300 $2,100 $340/hour
Neutral Evaluation Negotiable
Consulting $340/hour

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like to schedule a mediation session or neutral evaluation.