LIGHTNING RELEASES 04/29/14 — Baton Rouge, LA – There are no true winners in court. Once an argument or conflict escalates to the point where a trial is unavoidable, all parties have lost. That’s why we need mediation. Why burden the courts with a dispute that can be resolved independently?
Linda Liljedahl, better known as Ms. Mediator, is an attorney and founder of the Dispute Resolution Institute of Louisiana. As one of Louisiana’s most accomplished mediators, Liljedahl is always looking to find ways to assist and support disputants in court cases and potential lawsuits to work out their differences before advancing to actual trial.
“As a mediator I’m focused on the solution, something that works for both sides,” says Liljedahl. “I’m a strong mediator because I’m nosey and I care. I genuinely want to know what happened and why they feel the way they do.”
Mediation is a means of resolving disputes between two or more parties. Typically, a third party, the mediator assists the parties to negotiate a settlement. The mediator acts as a neutral third party and facilitates rather than directs the process.
As the first form of conflict resolution, mediation is older than the practice of law itself. Unlike arbitration, which takes a case out of the legal system, if the parties can’t reach a settlement through mediation, it goes back to the courts and you try the case.
“Very often the parties haven’t been able to talk to each other at all. Feelings have been hurt and anger builds,” says Liljedahl, “And that’s the burden the mediator carries: buffering the two parties. So communication is the name of the game. They’re going to have an opportunity to talk and they’re to do it in a civilized matter. If you allow a client five minutes to get the anger off their chest, you’d be surprised how much better it can work everything out.”
Once the parties have been separated, the mediator goes back and forth between rooms until a settlement is reached. As the mediator, it’s Liljedahl’s job to understand the dynamic in the room and keep the temperature low. The trick, she says, is to know how long to keep them apart; you don’t bring them together again until the end.
“I’m an old hippie. I went to Woodstock,” says Liljedahl. “I got into law as a way to help people, so I was born to be a mediator. It’s in my DNA.”
Close-Up Talk Radio will feature Linda Liljedahl in an interview with Doug Llewelyn on May 1st at 3pm EST.
Listen to the show www.blogtalkradio.com/closeuptalkradio. If you have a question for our guest, call (347) 996-3389.
For more information on The Dispute Resolution Institute of Louisiana, visit www.msmediator.com.