Procedural Practice—Mediation or Litigation?
By Snyder & Sarno on May 12, 2015
When you are unaware of the way the legal system works, things such as mediation and litigation may seem daunting and confusing. Both, however, are simply ways of ending disputes. Litigation is more formal, in that the parties’ dispute is brought before a judge who decides the issue. Mediation is a less formal means of settling a dispute. In mediation, the parties sit down with a neutral third party who attempts to help the parties reach an agreement.
It can often be confusing, however, to decide when it is proper to go through mediation or when litigation is more appropriate. The New Jersey Appellate Division, in an unpublished opinion, clarified general procedures in the case of Powell v. Gorski. In that case, the parties filed cross-motions against one another regarding emancipation of their child and contribution to college expenses. Rather than definitively deciding the issues before it, the court referred the parties to mediation.
On appeal, the Appellate Division commented on the procedure employed by the trial court. It noted, that it is the “business of courts to finalize disputes” Parish v. Parish, 412 N.J. Super. 39, 54 (App. Div. 2010). The Appellate Division stated that it is the trial court’s role to decide issues presented before it. While settlement is encouraged, any suggestions of mediation should have occurred before the case arrived in the courtroom for final review.
If you are currently going through a matrimonial legal dispute such as a divorce or child custody battle, call the experienced attorneys at Snyder & Sarno, LLC for help with your case. The attorneys at Snyder & Sarno, LLC can help you decide which method of dispute settlement is best for you. Contact us today at (973) 274-5200.
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