Mediator vs. Lawyer for Small Businesses in North Carolina

If you’re a small business owner, do you know if a mediator or a lawyer will best suit your needs? You know you want the best outcome, but it can be difficult to decide which route will get you there. Knowing the roles of each can help you make an informed decision for your case. We’re going to look at the differences between mediator vs. lawyer so that you can decide what services will best help your small business when facing litigation.

Mediator vs. Lawyer: What do I Need?

When discussing mediator vs. lawyer, you need to decide whether you are looking for legal representation or not.

If you are looking to resolve an issue and avoid going to court, you may be leaning towards a mediator. If you are looking for legal advice and representation, you’ll need a lawyer. A lawyer is bound by duty to represent only one party while a mediator bounces back between the two sides to find common ground.

Many small businesses opt to go for mediation because it is often less expensive and can help to come to a resolution that works for all parties involved. Small businesses also tend to prefer mediation because it can take less time and won’t keep business owners away from their businesses for a long time.

In some cases, a lawyer is best suited for the job to give legal advice and represent a small business in court when needed. A lawyer can also make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

Role of a Mediator

Mediators are experienced attorneys and/or retired judges who have gone through a special training program in North Carolina to get certified. A mediator can help each side see the weaknesses of their case and try to reach a compromise to avoid trial. Mediators try to get both sides to see the benefits of reaching an agreement out of court.

If a lawsuit has been pending for a certain amount of time, both parties in the case will be told that their case has been ordered to mediation. The court sets a deadline for both sides to reach an agreement. Both parties can select their own mediators.

Mediators do not make any rulings and cannot order anyone to do anything. Everything said to a mediator is considered privileged and cannot be used if the case goes to trial. If both sides reach an agreement during mediation, the mediator will present a written report to the court. If no agreement is reached, an impasse is declared and the case proceeds to trial.

While mediators try extremely hard to settle cases to avoid trial, some cases just can’t be settled. When this happens, the mediator will inform both sides about what the next steps for the case.

How Does Mediation Work?

When a mediator is involved in a case, a mediation conference is scheduled. During this time, attorneys, the mediator, and their attorneys will meet. During this time, the attorneys for both sides will present their sides and what they want for their client. After this, both sides go into separate rooms.

The mediator begins by asking the plaintiff questions to see what they hope to accomplish. Then, the same is done with the defendant. The mediator will go from one side to the other to try to establish common ground.

If both sides can reach an agreement, the mediator will present a report to the judge. If no agreement can be reached, then the case will most likely go to trial.

Role of a Lawyer

A lawyer represents the client and his or her best interests. Lawyers will look at your case and your position to see how the law applies in your case.

A lawyer will also advise you about whether you should trial to sell out of court or if going to trial is best. When lawyers do go to court, they will present evidence and question the evidence and witnesses from the other side. Good lawyers will summarize their case for the judge and make arguments for their sides.

Legal Services for Small Businesses in North Carolina

If you are looking for legal services for small businesses in Wake County, call The Doyle Law Offices. With more than 25 years of experience, we can help with business litigation in North Carolina. Call us today at (919) 228-4487. We serve clients in Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Wake Forest, and surrounding areas.

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