Susan's role in mediation is to help you create a solution to resolving disagreements or disputes in a confidential, cost-effective, timely way. Certified in mediation for more than 15 years, Susan can be retained as a mediator by disagreeing parties choosing mediation voluntarily. She also represents parties who have been directed to mediation by an agency or court. Susan charges an hourly rate of $200 for serving as a mediator. Susan is skilled at conducting mediations and negotiations via telephone and video conferencing. For in-person mediations, please inquire for specifics on location(s).
As a mediator, Susan provides mediation, negotiation and resolution services in commercial matters, privacy, estate beneficiary conflicts, and tax disputes. She also consults on structuring and implementing internal ombuds methods for human resource and management teams who want to maintain an in-house conflict resolution program. When she serves as a Mediator, she accepts case appointments, voluntary private party mediations (pre-lawsuit), and also provides mediation services to organizations experiencing internal conflicts among partners or founders.
Susan brings her 25 years of legal experience in commercial matters, including contractual agreements, bankruptcy and insolvencies, financial, privacy, tax and internal ombuds programs, to mediate substantive legal matters. Having a background in government, partner at a big law firm and small firm entrepreneurial practice, Susan understands the concerns and pressures of parties and counsel on all sides of the courtroom aisle. Confidentiality and ethical discretion are maintained by Susan at all times with the information that the parties provide to her about their situations.
A Note on Susan's Mediation Approach and Philosophy: The pandemic has disrupted courts and financially stressed certain businesses and industries making mediation an attractive alternative to parties with a dispute. I believe that a good mediator can offer disputing parties a confidential venue where they can take collective control over the outcome of their dispute. My trial and litigation experience provides me with working knowledge of the applicable rules, expenses, and pressures that an on-going dispute entails for parties and their counsel. As a mediator, I work hard to listen, analyze, and help the parties (and their counsel) develop a resolution that works for their mutual needs. I especially enjoy helping parties discover creative solutions, and lift barriers that had previously caused negotiations to be at an impasse.
What to Expect: Preparation and neutrality are key factors in a successful mediation. When it comes to preparation, as a mediator, in advance of a mediation, I intensively prepare for the session reading everything that is presented to me by the parties in the disagreement. I prefer to conduct a pre-mediation call with parties to identify key issues in advance of the mediation, discuss the timing of mediation in the stage of the dispute, and gain an understanding from the participants about the purpose(s) of the mediation session. My questions to the counsel/parties in the pre-mediation visit are designed for me to learn why a settlement has not been able to be achieved, and gauge how best I may be able to help the parties move towards a resolution.
The Mediation: During the actual mediation session, I maintain neutrality and impartiality. Every dispute is unique so as a mediator, I exercise flexibility in my approach to the parties and the subject(s) of the mediation. Throughout the mediation, I respect the need for confidentiality and work hard to earn the trust of the parties. Above all else, I listen intently and purposefully for genuine understanding to the concerns expressed by the claimant(s) and respondent(s), the discussion of counsel, and ask questions of all participants in a respectful manner. I work hard to try to gather information and possible alternatives to help the parties develop, in as expeditious way as possible, a resolution that satisfies their respective needs and goals.
Potential Benefits: Time and money are the two common resources that most people want to preserve. My goal is always to help parties improve their respective situations, and conserve these respective resources as much as possible. I understand the financial considerations, time constraints and pressures that engaging in litigation imposes on disputing parties (and, at times, even experienced counsel) from my work on both sides of the courtroom aisle, in government and private practice. When things go to trial, the judge or jury decides, but, in mediation, you have a chance to explore and find a workable solution while saving expensive litigation fees. In my experience, while there are some situations where trial of the issue(s) is the normal course, I have found that mediation is a beneficial opportunity for disagreeing parties to pursue who want to save the common resources of time and money.
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