Mediation is one of a variety of procedures which have developed to avoid the high cost of litigation.
In mediation a neutral person with no connection to either party in a dispute - the mediator - assists the parties in reaching a mutually satisfactory resolution of the dispute. The resolution generally involves both monetary and nonmonetary elements. The terms of the agreement are written and signed by both parties and may be entered by a court with jurisdiction. Alternatively, settlement takes the form of a written agreement between the parties.
Mediation can take place at any stage of a dispute. After a lawsuit is filed and after discovery is completed yet before the beginning of the trial is an especially good time. At that time both parties have a good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of each other's case. In the vast majority of cases, mediation results in complete resolution of the outstanding issues. In some cases some of the issues are resolved, leaving the others for judicial resolution. In some cases no issues are resolved. In any case each party always leaves the mediation session with a better understanding of the other party's position. Many believe that a solution reached by mediation is more apt to be successfully implemented than a solution imposed by a court.
The mediation process typically involves a half-day session attended by the parties and their attorneys and the mediator. Additional sessions may be scheduled if all issues are not resolved and the parties agree it would be beneficial to do so. The parties share the mediator's fee and costs. Statements made in mediation sessions are maintained as confidential by the mediator and cannot be introduced as evidence in court.
Mr. Ramsey has mediated many civil disputes in association with the Maryland District and Circuit Courts. He has been trained in mediation in one-day and one-week courses sponsored by the Maryland Bar Association and University of Maryland and Baltimore Law Schools.
Mediation does not involve resolution of legal issues - there is no guilty or innocent party in the settlement of a case. Nevertheless Mr. Ramsey brings an understanding of patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret and general business law to the mediation session. This assists him in understanding the issues and interests of the parties to the dispute and in structuring resolutions agreeable to both sides.