How can we help you reach a resolution?

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), it is a way of resolving disputes between two or more parties with a neutral third party, the mediator, to assist the parties in the process of negotiating a settlement.  One of the great benefits of mediation is that it is a “hands-on” process, meaning that you will have a hand in the outcome of your case.

Mediation is a private process where a mediator helps the parties discuss and try to resolve the dispute. The parties have the opportunity to describe the issues, discuss their interests, understandings, and feelings; provide each other with information and explore ideas for the resolution of the dispute. While courts can mandate that certain cases go to mediation, the process remains "voluntary" in that the parties are not required to come to agreement.  When in mediation, the only people who can resolve the dispute in mediation are the parties themselves.  There is no judge so the parties each have a say in the outcome. 

The mediator is not acting as a judge or as an attorney and does not have the power to make a decision for the parties, but can help the parties find a resolution that is mutually acceptable.  The mediator cannot give advice but is there to facilitate the negotiation process and assist in keeping the lines of communication open. 

There are a number of different ways that a mediation can proceed.  Most mediations start with the parties together in a joint session. The mediator will describe how the process works, will explain the mediator’s role and will help establish ground rules and an agenda for the session. Generally, each party then makes an opening statement.  The mediator may conduct the entire process in a joint session or may choose to separate the parties and shuttle back and forth between them.  

If you reach an agreement, the mediator may help reduce the agreement to a written contract, which may be enforceable in court.  If you do not reach an agreement, which is okay as well, your case would continue forward.

The experience to help you reach an agreement.

Teresa A. DiPonzio has been mediating since 2011 and is a Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution registered domestic and civil mediator as well as a Georgia licensed attorney.  She continues to attend continuing education classes and advanced training seminars to remain up to date in the practice of mediation.  Teresa has experience mediating in all areas of domestic disputes (divorce, child custody, child support, contempt); real estate issues and landlord/tenant disputes; personal injury actions; as well as estate and probate matters.  In addition, Teresa has represented clients during mediations in her law practice and knows what it is like to be a party in a mediation.  She continues to attend continuing education classes and advanced training seminars to remain up to date in the practice of mediation and regularly participates in coaching new mediators at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and Georgia State University College of Law.

Scheduling

We offer a flexible schedule for those clients who are not available during “normal” business hours, with evening and weekend hours offered.  We will travel to you (with a nominal travel fee if over 50 miles). 

 

Please call or email us at admin@diponziolegal.com to schedule your mediation.

Fees and payment

Our mediation rate is $250.00 per hour.  There is a 2-hour minimum for every mediation.  Payment is due at the time the mediation ends.

Normally the parties split the mediation fee unless agreed upon or ordered otherwise.  If there is an agreement or order for one party to pay the mediation fee please let us know in advance so we can bill accordingly.

We accept cash, check and all major credit cards as well as Venmo, Cashapp and Zelle.

Discounted Fee

We realize that the expense of legal proceedings and mediation can be too much for some clients.  One of the great benefits of mediation is money spent on mediation is usually far less than the amount that would be spent litigating in court.  In some cases, based on the attorney’s recommendation and a review of financial affidavits, we will work with those clients with limited means in offering a lower rate. 

 

Please contact us for more information.