The Mediation Practice at Gum, Hillier & McCroskey
Each of the lawyers at the firm are skilled mediators. Because of the unique nature of our practice, mediation of family law and contract issues, especially those with delicate financial considerations, are our speciality.
Mediation is the best avenue for your clients to craft lasting resolutions that best fit their lives. We are keenly aware that this avenue is preferable for most issues and have the experience to guide your clients through this process. We understand that mediated solutions have a greater potential for flexibility and consideration of unique and individual circumstances that are not necessarily achievable in a trial setting. We also understand that mediation has the power to teach people to approach their conflicts from a broader perspective, offering new tools for resolving disputes in the future.
Dave Hillier has been mediating cases in North Carolina for many years. Dave is a North Carolina Bankruptcy Law Specialist, and served as Trustee to the United States Bankruptcy Court for 33 years. Dave has mediated and mitigated every type of financial distress imaginable, and helped clients plan for financial success. He has spent his entire professional life creatively solving problems and finding alternative long-lasting resolutions for people in crisis. As a professional neutral, he can break through the anger and emotional barriers that prevent people from clear perspective. Dave offers mediation services in the following areas:
- Business and Corporate Disputes
- Construction Disputes
- Contract Disputes
- Employment Disputes
- Collection Disputes
- Personal Injury Disputes
- Health Care Disputes
- Medical/Dental Malpractice Claims
- Professional Neglignece
- Zoning and Land Use Disputes
- Work Comp Settlements
- Insurance Claim Diputes
- Real Estate Disputes
- Estate and Will Contest
Howard Gum is certified by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers as a mediator and arbitrator. Howard is retained as a mediator in complex family law cases involving closely held businesses and large family estates. Howard’s thirty plus years of experience and expertise as a North Carolina Family Law Specialist make him especially suited for these types of cases, as well. Patrick McCroskey, too, is a qualified mediator, and handles select family law mediations.
When your case needs a mediator that can open doors and offer possibility, narrow your clients’ issues and craft creative solutions, we can help. Schedule your next mediation with us.
What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?
It is becoming very common for our clients to ask about alternative dispute resolution (ADR). In fact, in many judicial districts in North Carolina, the district court has adopted rules for mandated ADR in family law cases. The goal of the Administrative Office of the Courts is to have statewide mandatory custody mediation and mandatory ADR for the resolution of financial issues related to separation and divorce. Even after you file a lawsuit, statistics show that 80 to 90 percent of court cases settle before trial.
Why is Alternative Dispute Resolution Encouraged?
Alternative dispute resolution can save financial and emotional costs. Not only is litigation expensive and time-consuming, but it can be very stressful. You may feel that an important part of your life is on hold while you are waiting for a trial date, wondering and worrying about the outcome.
What are the Benefits of Mediation?
Mediators can increase the likelihood of a negotiated settlement by bringing the skills, creativity, and influence of trained, impartial third parties to bear on the problem. Perhaps more importantly, frequently mediation can save time and money.
Mediation keeps your options open, and reduces issues of conflict. Although most who begin mediation have a successful conclusion, some do not. If mediation doesn’t work, you can still sue, go to court or engage in arbitration.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a process in which two or more people involved in a dispute come together voluntarily to try to develop a solution to their problem with the help of a neutral third person (or persons), called the mediator. Unlike a judge or an arbitrator, the mediator does not take sides or make decisions. The mediator, usually trained in conflict resolution, is there to help the disputants evaluate their goals and options in order to formulate their own solution. To achieve the fairest results possible, you both take an active part in your divorce, and turn what could be a battle for control into a search for mutually beneficial solutions.
How Does Mediation Work?
Mediation can take place over a series of sessions. But, more often than not, it is scheduled for a continuous amount of time to keep the negotiations going. Sessions are generally held in the privacy of the mediator’s office or an attorney’s office, and begin with all involved signing an agreement that the negotiations will be kept confidential. At the end of a successful mediation, the mediator will prepare a Memorandum or writing expressing the agreements of the parties, at least on the issues which were resolved. Any formal agreement will be drafted by your or your spouse’s lawyer.
What to Expect from the Mediator
The mediator’s role is to move the parties beyond personality clashes and historic grievances. Only then, can the mediator help you improve communication so any future dealings can take place without repeating the difficulties of the past. Mediation is a useful tool because it adds a new dimension to the negotiations. Because the mediator’s purpose is to help guide you to find solutions that you can both agree to, he/she does not have the power to decide your case, or in any other way, act as a judge. Nor does he/she have a fixed result in mind to urge you toward.
What is Arbitration?
Matrimonial arbitration can be used to resolve multiple or single family law issues which the parties agree by contract to submit to the arbitration process. Some parties are bound by the terms of prior contracts, such as premarital agreements, to submit their marital disputes to arbitration.
What are the Benefits of Arbitration?
There are many benefits of arbitration. The process is confidential and private unless it is provided for, and no record is kept of the proceedings. Each party has some control over the process in that they select their decision maker by mutual agreement. By contract, the parties can determine how evidence will be presented,