Julie S. Park As A Lawyer In Mediation
Mediation is a process where parties attempt to resolve disputes and settle their case. In my practice, “going to mediation” means that my client and I draft mediation materials with the client’s position and proposal and these materials are provided to the other party and mediator before the mediation date. Then, on the mediation date, my client and I go to a family law mediator’s office, the parties sit in separate rooms and the mediator negotiates a settlement while shuttling between the rooms. The end result is a written Civil Rule 2A Settlement Agreement that is a binding and enforceable agreement after it is signed. King and Snohomish Counties require family law litigants to attend a mediation before going to trial. Usually a mediation occurs towards the end of the case after the parties have all the information they need to settle. However, more often now I am mediating Temporary Orders, meaning that the parties will use the services of mediator to try to agree on Temporary Orders instead of going to court on a Motion for Temporary Orders. The keys to mediation are preparation, being able to acknowledge the other side’s goals and good points and being prepared to give and take to reach an agreement to avoid the financial cost, emotional toll and uncertainty of a hearing or trial.
Julie S. Park As The Mediator
Sometimes I switch roles and am retained to serve as the Mediator, i.e. the neutral. I am a regular volunteer with the King County Volunteer Family Law Settlement Conference Program. I have served as a mediator for unrepresented (pro se) parties and parties with lawyers. I can host a mediation or travel to a lawyer’s office. The first step in retaining me as a mediator is to send an email to me with the opposing party or lawyer cc’d, so that I can run a conflict check via phone or email. If there are no conflicts, I will send an engagement letter and Agreement to Mediate for all parties to sign. This letter will set forth the deadline for submitting mediation materials that must be shared with both parties. It is most efficient to submit actual proposed orders with the mediation materials.