Alternative Dispute Resolution

Focus on solutions for the future rather than problems of the past.”

Litigation is usually not the answer. Litigating is expensive and emotionally taxing. There are never really any clear winners. Even those who “prevail” at trial usually spend far more in fees, expenses, lost opportunities, and goodwill than what they recover. Sometimes litigation is unavoidable, but people would do well to consider mediation, and to consider it early.

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is an informal and confidential process that facilitates communication between litigants or potential litigants in order to better understand each other and resolve disputes. The parties can be represented by an attorney but legal representation is not necessary. The mediation is conducted by a mediator, sometimes referred to as a neutral.

In addition to being confidential, the mediation process is completely voluntary. In fact, the mediator has no power to force the parties to settle their claims. Rather than determining who is right and who is wrong, the mediator’s job is to understand the respective parties’ positions and see where common ground and the potential for compromise exists. This helps all concerned to focus on solutions for the future rather than problems of the past.

Why Mediation Works.

The vast majority of mediations result in a settlement. Even when parties are entrenched in their positions mediation works. The primary reason for this is effective communication. (Not surprisingly, the primary reason for litigation is poor communication.) Mediation provides a unique environment where parties can work with a neutral mediator to communicate effectively with the other side. There is no other process that affords parties the opportunity to sit down together with the aid of a trained mediator and focus only on resolving their disputes.

This process of focused communication invariably results in better educating the other side about your position, and you being better educated about theirs. This heightened understanding usually reveals the points on which the parties can agree and what compromises are possible to resolve the points on which they do not agree.

Another key reason mediation works is that it takes emotion out of the process. Parties, and even their attorneys, are often emotionally invested to a significant degree in their claims. A mediator is not similarly burdened. A skilled mediator is able to filter the emotion and legal posturing that otherwise burdens communications and instead focus on solutions.

Finally, mediation helps parties hear the mediator’s honest opinion about their chances in court. A good mediator will have a great amount of litigation experience and will help the parties realistically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their case as well as its shortcomings.

By facilitating effective communications between the parties, removing emotion and posturing from the negotiating process, identifying areas of common ground and possible compromise, and providing parties with a realistic and neutral assessment of their respective positions, mediation usually results in even the most difficult disputes being resolved once and for all.

Who I Am.

Trained at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine School of Law and the Department of Justice’s National Advocacy Center, Greg Hoole is a skilled mediator and arbitrator.  He has a great amount of experience in civil litigation and has been recognized by his peers in the highest category possible by all recognized peer-reviewing bodies: Martindale-Hubble (AV, preeminent), Utah Legal Elite, Mountain States Super Lawyers, and AVVO (5-star, 10/10 rating). Greg is adept at solving even the most complex of problems and bringing parties together.

ADR Affiliations

Greg is a trustee of the nonprofit Utah Dispute Resolution, a member of the Utah Council on Conflict Resolution, and a member of the Utah State Bar’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Section. Greg writes and lectures frequently on the value and benefits of alternative dispute resolution.

To schedule a mediation with Greg, please contact Miriam Strassberg at Utah ADR Services by clicking here.

Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out
to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser—in fees, expenses, and waste of time.

—Abraham Lincoln