Today’s speaker was John Gartland, Attorney-Mediator with Gartland, Nelson, McCleery & Wade, P.C. in Eugene.
- John graduated from OSU and went to the U of O Law School. He began as a family law lawyer and litigated for ten years. He didn’t like what he considered a waste time/assets just because of the complexity of some cases.
- He got interested in Mediation: having someone neutral trying to get two parties to settle outside of court. It took him eight years after his first mediation experience to become a mediator on his own.
- He mostly does pre-marital agreements, blended family and estate planning.
- His clients are referred to him from a few sources: previous clients, pastors/ministers, other lawyers
- He is a facilitator. He doesn’t make the decisions, he only has the ability to influence the decisions made. He provides a safe place to talk and that keeps people from making decisions based on emotion (fear, stress, concern). Mediators are not a subsitute for a lawyer though! He is always very clear in recommending that each party have their own representation.
- He is impartial and objective in his approach. The process is completely voluntary but full disclosure is critical. If he feels that one of the parties is withholding information, he can turn down or stop the mediation process.
- The cost comes out of both parties’ fees.
- The advantages are: clients agree ahead of time on the speed of the process, the settlement, and the goals and ensure they are well-within range. It is something that both parties have agreed on, therefore the likelihood of the agreements being honored are much higher