FAMILY LAW MEDIATION & SETTLEMENT CONFERENCES
The goal of mediation is to reach a mutually beneficial settlement. Mediation saves time and money. Mediation is a powerful tool that allows clients to maintain control over the process and outcome of their family law dispute. The entire process is cooperative, and nothing is decided without consensus from both parties. Mediation is a safe and confidential atmosphere, in which nothing discussed can be used in court. Mediation can take place at any stage in the litigation process (or prior to the litigation process) and any number of disputed issues can be addressed and resolved. It is common for parties to address a significant issue in a stand-alone session, such as temporary orders or a final parenting plan, and return later for a second session to address any remaining issues.
As a mediator, Paul is a neutral facilitator of negotiations, who engages in “shuttle diplomacy” by moving between rooms (virtual or in-person) to guide the parties toward a workable settlement using creative and sensible solutions.
Mediation does not require parties be represented by attorneys, although we highly recommend it. The attorney represents the individual interests of his or her client, provides legal advice throughout the process, and reviews the final documents.
Resolution of a divorce or family law dispute through mediation is:
- Flexible – Mediation can address one or more issues in dispute and can take place before and/or after a petition is filed with the court.
- Private – Mediation is conducted outside of court and off the record.
- Self-Directed – You maintain control of the process (not the court) and create your own solutions.
- Neutral – Your mediator is an experienced unbiased professional focused on facilitating a mutually agreeable resolution.
- Healthy – Mediation promotes better communication, stronger relationships, and improved parenting.
- Economical – Reaching a settlement outside of court can lower legal costs.
- Non-Adversarial – Both sides work to determine the best result for everyone.
- Mandatory – Upon filing a petition with the court, parties are required to attempt alternative dispute resolution to resolve their case. Mediation fulfills that requirement.
Eagle Law Offices, PS offers as mediation are as follows:
- Arranging a mediation: Our office can be contacted by phone, text or email to check available dates for mediation. We set mediations for half days or whole days.
- Cost: Please contact our office for the current hourly rate charged for mediation services. There is a minimum charge of three (3) hours for sessions held at our office and four (4) hours minimum charge for sessions held outside of our office. Each party is required to pay an advanced fee deposit prior to mediation and their share of the remaining balance is due at the end of the mediation session. Parties typically share the cost of the mediator’s time equally, which includes a modest amount of preparation time and the actual time spent working with the parties at the mediation. Mediators charge by the hour and expect payment in full at the end of the mediation session. Parties often agree as part of the settlement terms to reallocate the mediation costs.
- ZOOM: Mediation can be in person or via ZOOM. If we utilize ZOOM, each party will be in a separate breakout room.
- In-Person mediation: If mediation occurs in person, each side will occupy a separate room in order that each side can speak openly with their attorneys (if any) and the mediator. The mediator will take turns going to each of the rooms to talk and with the parties.
- Joint mediation sessions: Parties may choose to have a joint mediation session. In this environment, both parties, their attorneys (if the parties are represented), and the mediator occupy one room. The mediator then guides a collaborative and respectful discussion to help the parties reach an agreement. Joint sessions promote face-to-face cooperation and can help parties learn effective communication tools they can utilize moving forward.
- Convenience: Our offices are located in Seattle and Tukwila. In most instances, if it is more convenient, Mr. Eagle is willing to travel to your office.
- Finality: If we achieve a settlement, we will have CR 2A agreements so that the agreements are final and binding on the parties. Our services as arbitrators are to resolve any disputes regarding the drafting of documents or resolving disputed issues.
- Cancellation of mediation: If the mediation needs to be canceled or postponed three (3) days prior to the mediation, there is no cancellation fee. There may be a fee assessed for cancellations within (3) business days.
- Special Problems: If there is a no-contact order or protection order in place, it will be the responsibility of the parties or the attorneys to apprise our office so that any necessary arrangements can be made for the mediation. If one of the parties is out of State, we can also accommodate telephonic mediation.
- Preparation: We understand that advanced preparation is often difficult. We would like to have all settlement materials available at least two working days in advance of the mediation so that we can be better prepared to accomplish the settlement.
About Paul Eagle:
Paul started practicing law in 1993. Since then, he practiced law in the areas of criminal law, personal injury, and general civil practice. However, his focus has always been family law. Paul also has substantial experience looking at matters from a third-party perspective. He has been a Pro Tem Family Law Commissioner in King County Superior Court since 2018.
From the time Paul entered private practice, he zealously and effectively represented clients from all walks of life. This eclectic experience made clear to him the value of a learned, thoughtful, and deliberative mediator/judicial officer, be it a court commissioner mediator. This is especially true, he believes, in family law, where the outcome almost always touches the parties’ lives in such a personal way. While in practice, Paul’s clients ranged from juveniles to senior citizens and included people from all racial, cultural, and economic backgrounds. Paul would be honored to use his experience and training to serve as your mediator.
Paul enjoys helping people assess their needs, priorities, and motivations while providing the benefit of experience both as practicing a family lawyer and mediator. He is dedicated to facilitating people toward an equitable, practical, and stable agreement that ultimately brings closure to litigation.
“With my experience and belief that all matters can be resolved short of trial, I believe I can offer you a valuable service as mediator or arbitrator in your family law case.”
Please feel free to contact Eagle Law Offices, P.S. regarding any questions you may have. For further information about scheduling a mediation in one of our offices, please call (206) 426-6961.