In a recent settlement agreement between the NFL and thousands of former players in the league, the NFL agreed to pay the players a total of $765 million for head-related injuries they claimed were caused by the NFL’s negligence concerning safety precautions. The settlement was made after two months of court-ordered mediation and is subject to approval by the federal court.
Under Florida law, the parties in a dispute may request mediation or the court may order it. Mediation is a process in which the parties aim to reach a mutual agreement in order to resolve their dispute through the help of a neutral third-party mediator.
Mediation is a good alternative to going to court or obtaining a judgment because it can help both parties end their conflict on better terms and feel that they have reached a fair arrangement. Especially when emotions are high and relationships are at stake, such as in divorce and family law matters, mediation can help produce an amicable result that allows the parties to maintain a respectful, however limited, rapport.
Other benefits of mediation are:
- Time and cost. Generally the mediation process takes far less time and, therefore, results in far less attorneys’ fees than in typical litigation.
- Confidentiality. While court hearings are public, mediation is a confidential process, only known to the parties and the mediator. The mediator is generally barred from testifying in court.
- Control. Mediation allows the parties to maintain control over the dispute resolution process and arrive at a mutually agreeable compromise — it also tends to allow for more flexible solutions than those available with a judge or jury.
Mediation is a common avenue for couples involved in divorce, especially when children are involved, since it is helpful to try to maintain cordial relations with your former spouse. If you are dealing with family law issues, a Florida mediator or family law attorney can answer your questions about the process.