Both state and federal court systems here in Pennsylvania and across the nation have been hit hard by budget limitations caused by the poor economy. That doesn’t mean, unfortunately, that there are fewer disputes to be resolved -- only that the courts are jam-packed with cases. If there were no option but trial in those cases, the delays would be so long that there would essentially be no access to the courts, or justice.
Most lawyers, and many sophisticated clients, have become fans of mediation for its efficacy and relative lack of expense in resolving disputes that would otherwise require litigation. How and when to use the very effective tool of mediation, however, remains a legitimate ground for debate. If the point of mediation is to avoid the morass of time and expense that often accompanies the discovery phase of litigation, why not go directly to mediation at the outset of a case? The answer, as in so many other instances, is "it depends." ADR/Mediation
Transcendental Meditation (TM®) is a familiar concept to those of us baby-boomers who grew up in the 1960's. However, without seeking to infringe on the Maharishi's trademark, and following the axiom that "less is more", the removal of a single "t" from that phrase results in a concept which may be even more useful in resolving construction and other business disputes. ADR/Mediation
Attorneys for builders and developers constantly advise their clients to use carefully drafted and reviewed contract documents as the best protection against litigious consumers. It is good advice, but a recent case in the federal court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania demonstrates how even a well-written contract may not be enough to provide the protections sought, especially where fraud or misrepresentation becomes an issue.
"The time has come," the Walrus said,