Blaiss law firm


Skip the Court


Lawsuits take time, and money. Court dockets are crowded and the other side wants to paint you as being the crazy, wrong party. Clients tend to think that they can get on the stand and tell their story.  It does not work that way.  The court system relies on complicated rules of evidence and some evidence a client wants the judge to consider, if the proper procedure is not followed, the judge will never hear it.  Witnesses can become unavailable and even change their story, or their memory becomes faulty.  In divorce cases, the judge usually will never see pictures of the children or learn of their favorite food or bedtime story. Do you want to chance the parenting arrangements to a judge in those circumstances, one who is overworked on a crowded docket and has more cases lined up the next day?

Many times, mediation makes too much sense not to try it. Yet many times, it is an after-thought, after the clients have fought for a year or more, spent thousands of dollars and seem no closer to a resolution that then day they started. You can take control, and go to mediation on the front end, and perhaps the matters will be worked out, or perhaps, 90% is worked out and you have to go to the Judge to resolve the last 10%. Wouldn't that save a lot of money, a lot of time and aggravation and give you more control over your divorce, your property, your children, your life? And it is not limited to just divorces, but car wrecks, business disputes, and other matters.

If you decide to go to mediation, the mediator is a neutral party and will not give legal advice.  In a divorce situation, it is imperative that both sides know all of the marital assets, know all of the debts and know all of the incomes for each spouse. That is why divorce can cost a lot, getting to the bottom of it. But some cases do not require that, and so that sort of case could move straight to mediation.  If it gets resolved by mediation, the parties can then get an attorney to file the divorce for one of them and prepare the paperwork and the other spouse can get an attorney to review it to make sure that is the agreement and for any advice. This sure would save each side a lot of money, time and the emotional toll that goes with a divorce that gets contested. If the matter is say a business dispute, the parties can get an attorney to draw up a settlement agreement and documents such as a general or mutual release.

I believe the Beatitudes and the one that says blessed are the peacekeepers. Litigation has its risks and clients sometimes get surprised that presenting evidence in court is not just getting up there and telling your side of the story. Trials get interrupted, trials get reset for a number of reasons, and witnesses can get sick the day before a trial or die. I have practiced 32 years and seen all sorts of things happen, and the mediation process works.