Smythe & Jones, PLLC

SMYTHE & JONES PLLC

Office: (425) 436-5777

Mediation Services, Family Law & Business Attorneys

Be Heard & Have a Voice in your Conflict Resolution with Mediation.

Benefits of Mediation (And other FAQs)

Mediation puts the control for the outcome of your court case in your hands. You get to decide the result you want and then we work to obtain that result or some compromise that you can live with. Having control in what the court will decide in your case will never happen again except in mediation.

Mediation also provides an end to the costs of attorney’s fees and costs. If you are paying for the litigation directly to your attorney, then you know how costly litigation can get through discovery and all the motions that can be filed. If you are on a contingency, you should be concerned about how much the insurance company is paying their attorney because that money could go to settle your case.

Mediation stops the costs of litigation and uses the savings to settle the case. Mediation gives you certainty. Your result of your case will be known at the conclusion of a successful mediation. Those are two of the primary benefits of mediation.

What if we go to trial?

If you go to trial, the judge or the jury will decide the result in your case. There is no doubt that the result will happen. The problem is that you don’t know when the result will happen, nor do you know what the result will be. You see a civil trial date is subject to change based on the court’s schedule. So even if you have a trial date, that date can be subject to change by days, weeks, or months with no notice. This means that you need to prepare for trial multiple times. Once the court hears the case, if it is a jury, then the result will occur at the end of the trial. However, if the case is decided by a judge, sometimes the result is not decided for days, weeks, or months. The timing of the decision depends on the court’s schedule. So if you go to trial, a decision about your case will be made, however, you never know what a judge or a jury is going to decide. Also, the uncertainty of the timing of any trial or decision can be agonizing if delays occur.

Cost of mediation/versus trial

A full day of mediation costs a few thousand dollars and that amount is typically split between all the parties to the litigation.  The cost is equal to a few phone calls with your lawyer. Litigation costs however can escalate without warning. In litigation you can’t control the cost because first the court rules require certain things to be done by a certain time. Also, opposing counsel can take actions that necessitate your attorney to respond. Neither you nor your attorney have the control to limit your costs in litigation. In mediation, you have the control to settle the case and end the litigation which ends the mediation. There is no comparison between the costs of mediation and the costs of trial.

I don’t want to settle!

You have been wronged. I get it, you don’t want to settle with the other side that you feel is completely wrong. However, who are you hurting by letting the litigation linger? Them? No. you are only hurting yourself by having an emotional or mental block to resolving the case. When we mediate your case, we work to get you past the roadblocks toward settlement. We work to turn that “I don’t want to settle” into your choice to settle.

My opponent will never settle.

You may have preconceived notions that your opponent is stubborn and won’t settle. You may be right. But remember, we work with both sides to get past the roadblocks that are stopping a settlement. Many times when you are working with a neutral mediator, it can break down the barriers toward a resolution that have existed since the dispute arose.

What is Marianne’s mediation style.

I promise to come to your mediation prepared to mediate your case. I won’t come to your mediation and spend time getting to know you or your case. I will do that work in advance. I’m there to work and I promise to work the entire time we are mediating. I’m going to privately identify the weaknesses in your case and have a frank discussion about those weaknesses. I won’t ignore the strengths, but I’ll work on the other side to discuss your strengths as weaknesses with the other side. I then work creatively to find proposed resolutions and when necessary to find a solution outside the box.

Is litigation theatre?

It’s interesting to think as litigation as theatre but it does have a similar foundation. The lawyers tell the factual story through a narrative and through testimony. There can be drama, comedy, and suspense as the trial continues. While a trial is not scripted, it is a live broadcast of a story which has not been rehearsed. The judge or the jury then takes the story presented and applies it to the law. Depending on how the information was relayed AND how the information was perceived by the judge or jury, the result of your case can depend on how well of a performance you and your attorney display in your trial.

Can I “win” in mediation?

Mediation is not a “win” or “lose” situation. In fact, we like it to be considered a win-win for both parties. The “win” that you receive from resolving the case is certainty, clarity, finality, and peace to move on and live the life that you want to live.

Do I need an attorney?

An attorney is helpful in mediation. If you have an attorney in your litigation, then the attorney will assist the mediator in understanding the legal issues presented by the facts of your case. This can assist in settling a case particularly if one person has a better legal argument than the other. If you don’t have an attorney, then the mediator will work to obtain a resolution based upon the facts of your case and the willingness of both parties to end the dispute and move on.

Why should I mediate?

Mediation settles disputes, allows you to move on with your life, and eliminates the emotional, financial, and physical demands of litigating a case in court. Courts are designed for lawyers to present the facts and law to the court and jury. If your lawyer is doing that for you, your lawyer will still not guarantee you a result. They can’t guarantee a result, because you never know what a judge or a jury will “hang their hat on” in deciding the case. You and your attorney may think you know what they should base their decision on but you can never be sure. Mediation gives you the control and the ability to decide what the outcome will be. That is why you should mediate.

But I’m right and they’re wrong!

There are three truths in every litigation matter, your truth, the opposing parties truth, and the courts truth. Many times the three truths cross paths at certain points but it is infinitely more likely that the three truths are not completely aligned. If you think that you are right and they are wrong, then you are holding on to your truth regardless of the existence of the other two truths that exist. A mediator can assist you with a change in perspective so that you can resolve your case both you and the opposing party considering all three truths.

Instagram/tik tok ad: mediate your dispute! If your family or business dispute is keeping you from living your best life, then choose Smythe &Jones to help you resolve your dispute in a way each of you can live with. Mediation saves litigation costs and fees and assures you the outcome that each of you agree on. We think outside the box in our carefully crafted settlements. Try us, and start living your best life with all disputes resolved.

About Jordan (Marianne’s perspective)

We call Jordan the settlement queen! In my 31 years of practice, I’ve never known another attorney who can settle cases as quickly as she does. Jordan gets right to the bottom of the dispute. She does it quickly and definitively. Jordan is precise in her communication and thorough in her crossing T’s and dotting I’s. Jordan’s mediation studies were top notch and extremely thorough. Jordan is an excellent choice to mediate your dispute.

About Stacey from Marianne’s perspective

I don’t know how she has done it. A career in Family law can be so very taxing emotionally as you navigate one of the most difficult times in a person’s life. Yet Stacey’s desire and energy to continue to assist families through an extremely difficult time has never waned. Stacey knows every aspect of family law mediation. She will make sure your final orders are wrapped up so well that when issues arise you can be sure she covered it in the parenting plan and final orders. Stacey is the utmost professional and she will work extremely hard to settle your case.

About Marianne

My personal side gives you insight as to how I work. I am a mother of 8 children, 6 biological and 2 that we took in during their teenage years. My husband and I also took in 5 other children for a short time each. While raising children my husband and I maintained our full-time careers including owning my own law firm for the past 25 years. All of our grown children have successful careers and own their own home.  Everyone asks me how do you do it? First, I have a true partner in my husband- the boy next door and I had the local support of our families when the kids were young. Second, I have an extremely patient and non-judgmental personality (my children refer to me as being “based”). Third, I’m a problem solver and I don’t panic I simply get things done. Finally, I’m very organized and methodical in all that I do.

These are the qualities that I bring to your mediation directly from my core. My goal is for you to have a successful, drama free mediation.

The Smythe & Jones PLLC Mediation Promise to Attorneys

Our promise to attorneys who choose Smythe & Jones PLLC for mediation: you and your client will feel welcome, respected, and listened to. We will work hard for your returning business. We will be available to you if any issues come up while you finalize the settlement agreement and final orders. We will refer any business that comes our way first to attorneys that trust us the most to mediate their cases. If there is anything else you need from us, ask us, we will listen and try to assist you in any way we can.

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