Once a lawsuit is commenced, it has to end, and the quicker it ends the cheaper it is and the sooner parties can get on with their lives. Mediation puts the parties face-to-face and allows them to work out a solution quickly and efficiently.
South Carolina is fortunate to have three vibrant mediation centers, in Greenville, Columbia and Charleston, which function as wonderful resources for the resolution of civil and family disputes.
No one knows a case as well as the parties, and no one else is better suited to finding a solution. Mediation provides a safe environment for the parties to come together with the assistance of a neutral mediator to discuss the best ways to resolve their dispute. It is an opportunity to listen to the other side of an argument. This can be done prior to a lawsuit or during a lawsuit. It is a particularly effective way to resolve divorce, child-custody and other domestic disputes.
South Carolina is blessed with many good mediators who can facilitate the process, keep it moving in the right direction and assure that all parties conduct themselves in a civil manner. Mediators often are lawyers, but this is not required in all cases. What’s most important is that the parties should know and trust the mediator to be open, honest and neutral.
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Mediation has taken a tremendous burden off of our courts. The majority of civil disputes are now resolved without a trial. Some are simply settled by the lawyers, but many others are settled at mediation.
Certainly, there are cases that have to be tried, and there are judges and juries for that purpose. Mediation is an effective process to achieve an early resolution of disputes, and it is an integral part of the American justice system.
If you are involved in a civil dispute, I encourage you to explore the mediation process.
If you are not represented, you can contact one of our state’s three mediation centers to help you set up a mediation and find a mediator. Call (864) 370-9771 in Greenville, (843) 972-3683 in Charleston or (803) 714-1176 in Columbia.
H. Mills Gallivan
Chair, S.C. Bar Dispute Resolution Council