Benefits of Mediating Elder Abuse Cases

Benefits of Mediating Elder Abuse Cases

Elder abuse is a serious problem that affects millions of Americans. It is believed that instances of elder abuse are drastically underreported. When a loved one is concerned about their loved one being abused or neglected they may immediately jump to litigation. Mediation is a viable alternative that offers many benefits to parties, including:


Mediation is a private process. It is not conducted in an open forum like a court case is. It is also confidential, so the parties do not have to worry about what they say being used against them later in court. Privacy helps to protect the loved one, as well as the nursing home, which can avoid negative publicity. It also facilitates open discussion so that the parties can clear up misunderstandings.


Mediation can be scheduled based solely on the parties’ and mediator’s schedules. Parties do not have to try to add their names to an exhaustive court docket. By resolving disputes faster, the parties are often able to minimize damages and preserve relationships.

More Affordable

A lot of expenses go into litigation, including:

  • Court costs
  • Attorney fees
  • Discovery costs
  • Expert witness fees

These sums can result in significant costs to both parties.

In mediation, the parties can often minimize their costs. They may not incur filing fees if they immediately seek resolution through a mediator and bypass the litigation process. Additionally, they can split the cost of mediation.

Preservation of Relationships

Mediation is often able to help the parties maintain a civil relationship with one another. Unlike in litigation where the parties are pitted against each other, the parties work together in mediation to come up with possible solutions to their shared legal problem.

Creative Solutions

In mediation, the parties are often able to brainstorm creative solutions to their legal problem. They are not restricted like they are in litigation to money damages or other limited forms of relief.

Mediating Nursing Home Cases: What to Expect

Mediating Nursing Home Cases

Mediation is a legal process that helps parties embroiled in a dispute work together to resolve the issue, effectively taking the power from the court and placing it squarely in the hands of the parties involved in the dispute. Because of the many benefits of mediation, including the cost and time savings, mediation is increasingly being used by more parties, including nursing homes and disputants. Here is what you should know about mediation in this context.

Types of Nursing Home Cases that Can Be Mediated

Many different types of disputes that occur within the nursing home context can be effectively resolved through mediation. One of the few requirements is that the parties be willing to use this method and participate in good faith. Mediation has successfully resolved cases involving:

  • Billing disputes
  • Disputes over care provided or withheld
  • Services
  • Employment disputes
  • Concerns regarding abuse or neglect

The Process of Mediation

The parties usually voluntarily agree to mediate the claim. They will agree on a mediator, usually someone with experience involving nursing homes or personal injury cases. The mediator explains the ground rules of mediation, describes its benefits, and helps guide the parties’ communication.

Mediation is confidential, so the parties often feel more comfortable freely expressing themselves without worrying about hearing what they say repeated in court. This open communication can help clear up misunderstandings and also allow the plaintiff in the case to freely express their concerns, an opportunity not usually afforded within the civil litigation process.

The parties work together to reach possible solutions to their legal issue. If the parties cansettle, the mediator draws up a written agreement to this effect.

The Legal Solution to Coronavirus Problems

The coronavirus has led to millions of illnesses and thousands of deaths across the United States. It has also caused significant effects in other realms, including disrupting the economy and leading to millions of workers laid off. While mediation has been around for a long time, the current pandemic highlights its usefulness, especially in the following three areas:

Family Disputes
Not long after the pandemic was underway in the United States, family lawyers across the country started receiving more calls from parents who were struggling to co-parent during this unprecedented time. Many courts around the country closed in response to concerns about the virus, so many were left with little guidance on how to deal with a situation not contemplated when their custody order was put in place.

Mediation is particularly effective in resolving family disputes because it gets the parties to work together toward a shared mutual goal. The parties can consider arrangements that work best for their family without the intervention or reliance on the family court system. Because the parties helped to put the arrangements in place, they are more likely to adhere to the terms of the agreement.

Employment Disputes
The coronavirus has led to massive layoffs. An important social movement has also coincided during this time, resulting in the demand for equal pay and social justice. Employers have had to make difficult decisions in the last few months.

Employment disputes may be resolved through mediation. The parties can come up with creative solutions to their problems and also discuss their concerns in a safe forum.

Contract Disputes
Many contracts did not anticipate the issues surrounding coronavirus. Parties may be carefully reviewing their force majeure clauses. A knowledgeable mediator can discuss how courts have recently ruled on these issues and explain the benefits of keeping the case out of court to provide greater certainty and control over the outcome.

Disputes in a Nursing Home – Mediation is Key

Mediation is a tool that can be used to mend relationships and resolve disputes in nursing homes. Complaints against nursing homes are filed through a grievance process, and when the resolution is not good, it proceeds to arbitration. It is good to go through mediation first before arbitration. With mediation, the emotional and complex issues that arose will be discussed and handled.

Here are a few things to think about why you should choose mediation:

Mediation is less stressful: Lawsuits can be very stressful for everyone involved. Moreover, people of old age are more vulnerable to a different medical condition and we do not want them to go through stress. Waiting for court dates and attending multiple meetings with lawyers can be quite tiring. Mediation offers a less stressful way to participate meaningfully in discussions of the issue and negotiations for resolution.

Mediation is faster: Getting a court date alone will probably take a lot of time already, and usually, cases related to nursing homes last from one to three years. Litigation takes a lot of your time and money. While mediation, on the other hand, can be done in one day if everything will be resolved and settled. It can also be done at your chosen time.

Mediation is more affordable: If you opt to choose litigation, you will spend more money because it is expensive. Consider the filing fees, attorney’s fees, and other court fees applicable. Case preparation is extensive and you might need to hire different experts to build your case. And because litigations take longer, the costs will be higher than mediation.

Mediation is private: Taking matters to the court will expose you to publicity because there will be people in your trials or hearings. If you have confidential matters about the case, everything will be discussed in court even if you are comfortable or not. In mediation, everything is done in private, so you can even open the most confidential issues you want to raise against the nursing home. Everything will be discussed and negotiated in private.

Mediation offers personalized resolution: If you chose litigation, what the judge says if the final decision, it may or may not be fair to you. In mediation, every concern is open for negotiation. Both parties involved a compromise and meet in the middle for mutual benefit and resolution.

Mediation in Elder Abuse: Save the Family

Mediation and litigation are two different things, both can be used to resolve disputes. Mediation may be a part of a litigation, but mediation does not always have to end up in litigation. Mediation in cases of elder abuse and mistreatment may happen outside a litigation process. You can resolve everything without the court to interfere if that is what you want.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a legal process and an alternative to litigation. Mediation is used to resolve disputes with the other party involved while a mediator acts as the middle. Mediation has been happening for many decades now, and because of a more successful mediation, many have been choosing to mediate first before bringing the issues in the courts. In mediation, relationships can also be preserved. Because everything happens privately more understanding and calmness is present, no need for court battles, and too much of hard feelings.

Mediation is also less expensive than litigation. It is also a faster way to resolve disputes. If you bring your concerns in court, most cases take years. Resolutions in abuse are not something that should not take too long to avoid stress.

Mediation in elder abuse concerns

If a family member is involved in elder abuse, this is something that you can immediately resolve with mediation. You can just sit down with the family member and the mediator over the weekend or holiday to discuss your issues and come up with a resolution that works for both of you. Moreover, if you intend to keep the relationship with that certain family member, mediation is the perfect way to raise your disputes. Your family matters will also be kept in private with mediation rather than exposing all your conflicts in court.

Why Mediation Is Needed During Coronavirus Pandemic

The Coronavirus pandemic has been considered a global crisis. Many have been affected, from business to personal matters. People are in disarray because many are getting sick, they cannot go out, businesses are closed, and some do not have an income because of offices closed. People are stressed out causing more disputes which are taking a toll on management and relationships. More problems arose because of this COVID-19 pandemic.

Amidst this lockdown and chaos, there is a solution available for you to resolve your conflicts. Whether this is a family dispute or a business dispute, mediation is the answer to your conflicts. Mediation is a legal process where both parties will discuss their issues, negotiate towards a resolution with a third neutral person called the mediator.

Mediation is a better way to resolve disputes especially now. Not only because the courts are closed, but also because of the benefits. With mediation, your discussions are more private. If you fill this in court and trials will happen, you and the parties involved are subject to the public eye. If this is a sensitive topic, many will know about it. Another thing, mediation is the better option during this pandemic because it is faster. This is something that can be done in a day, as long as all the issues are handled and both parties agree with the resolution. If you take your dispute in the courts, you have to wait for them to open and trials might last for years.

Mediation also allows us to preserve relationships. The dispute now might just be caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, and when everything happens you might regret if you cut off your relationship with the other party involved. Mediation allows you to personalize your agreements too, towards the resolution. Unlike in court, what the judge says is the decision. But with mediation, the decision is in your hands.

Online Estate Planning During COVID-19

Estate Planning during covid19If you are like many Americans, you do not have a will or trust in place – or it has been a while since you last updated it. The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a stark warning about what can happen suddenly without any warning. To keep you safe and protect your legal rights during this scary time, Lana Hawkins is currently offering online estate planning during COVID-19. Here is the information you need to know about this process.

Online Consultation
Online consultation is just like an in-person estate planning consultation except it occurs over videoconferencing software so that you can safely remain at home. During this consultation, your estate planning attorney will get to know you and help you consider important questions, such as:

  • What are your estate planning goals?
  • What is the structure of your family?
  • Who do you want to inherit from you and what do you want them to get?
  • What assets do you own and are there any death designations on them?
  • Who do you want to appoint to important roles for your estate plan?
  • What would you want to have happened in the event you become incapacitated or ill with COVID-19 or another illness?
  • What types of end-of-life treatment would you want to receive?

Attorney Hawkins will work closely with you to answer these questions and any others that come up within the scope of representation.

Review Documents
Attorney Hawkins will draft your documents to ensure that they fulfill your estate planning objectives.
The online estate planning process goes a step further by allowing you to review the documents as they are created. We can prepare documents based on your needs, including:

  • Wills – This important estate planning document nominates a guardian for your minor children, appoints an executor, and describes how your property should be distributed after your death.
  • Trusts – You can plan for Medicaid, protect assets, and avoid the probate process with a trust.
  • Advance healthcare directives – You can indicate the type of medical treatments you want – and do not want – in certain situations and appoint a person to make important medical decisions if you are unable to do so yourself.
  • Powers of attorney – These documents give the person your name, your agent, the right to handle your financial affairs.

You can review your documents in the safety of your home over email to ensure that all of your wishes are communicated.

Remote Online Notarization
According to an executive order by the governor, remote online notarization is currently being permitted during the pendency of the public health emergency. Typically, you would sign a will and other estate planning documents in front of two witnesses and a notary public. However, in the interest of public health and safety, the governor is allowing these practices to be completed over teleconferencing. This allows you to carry out the legal requirements to execute your documents without putting your health in danger.

Learn More
If you would like to learn more about how to make an estate plan or the role of powers of attorney, trusts, wills, or advance healthcare directives, visit

Lana Hawkins