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Mediation & ADR

The Law Offices of Douglas P. Barnes offers alternative dispute resolution services, including mediation services, to clients in Santa Clara, San Luis Obispo, and Alameda counties, and throughout California.

At various stages of a dispute there will be opportunities to pursue settlement; the parties can either mutually work towards an agreeable resolution through mediation, or ultimately, if no settlement can be reached, a legal resolution will be forced by a judge at a sizeable cost to the estate’s legal heirs or beneficiaries. 

Overview of Mediation

Mediation is a dispute settlement process where the parties to a dispute reach a mutual resolution in a supportive environment with the guidance of a mediator.  A mediator is a neutral third person experienced in conflict resolution and the issues in dispute.  A mediator facilitates the identification of the issues and the exploration of opportunities for resolution.  The mediator may offer suggestions for a resolution, but is not a judge and does not mandate a determination of the issues. 

Mediation offers several advantages over traditional litigation:

  • It is more cost-effective and timely than a trial;
  • It allows the parties to reach a mutually agreeable resolution;
  • It helps to avoid the unpredictability inherent in every judge-imposed decision;
  • Since the parties have agreed to the resolution rather than having a decision imposed on them, they are more likely to follow through with the terms of the agreement;
  • It allows the parties to confidentially express a range of concerns and grievances in a private forum; and
  • The parties are more likely to repair or maintain their relationship than in an adversarial trial proceeding.

Seek Experienced Legal Counsel

Doug Barnes has participated in all forms of alternative dispute resolution, including court reprisal binding and non-binding mediation and settlement conferences on behalf of clients, including trustees, conservators, executors, administrators, and trust and estate beneficiaries and other fiduciaries.  With over 25 years of trust and estate litigation experience, and formal training as a mediator, Mr. Barnes is frequently called upon to act as a third party neutral in probate, trust and estate disputes.  For further information regarding our alternative dispute resolution and mediation services, contact the Law Offices of Douglas P. Barnes.

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