More Oklahoma Litigators Now Practicing Mediation
The Oklahoman recently published an article about the growing number of former litigators-turned-mediators in the state, particularly in the realm of family law. The article quotes Jennifer Irish, an Edmond family law attorney, who explains why she now practices mediation. “The parties can be very angry and combative,” she said. “Parents are terrified of letting go of their children. They're terrified of sharing.” She goes on to explain that as an effective method of resolving such issues, “Mediation is a means of getting a case resolved, rather than having to wait for the court to resolve it. The parties are making the decisions about the outcome of the case. That's empowering.”
Turning to mediation instead of litigation in civil disputes, as well as family law disputes, can be a cost-saving and time-saving alternative, as well as empowering. Not only do the parties in dispute get to play a significant role in deciding the outcome of the settlement—they also get to save money and time in the process. The result is a peaceful resolution that takes into account the dynamics that need to continue to maintain relationships after the dispute is resolved.
Angela Smith, an attorney/mediator based in Oklahoma City, states, “There are a lot of dynamics in family law that there is not a legal answer for. [Mediation is] a format where people can address concerns that might not matter to a court.” Smith went on to assert that an increasing number of people, especially within the state of Oklahoma, are beginning to see the benefits mediation offers when compared to the lengthy and costly experience often experienced when choosing to litigate a case. When family is involved, and sensitive issues like co-parenting are considered, it just makes sense to mediate.