Minding Your Legal Affairs I

Are you in Court and cannot get a hearing date?

The backlog of matters awaiting civil trial in the High Court exceeds five (5) years.

The backlog of matters awaiting transcripts to go to the Appeal Court also exceeds five (5) years.

The clock keeps ticking. No transcriptionists. No courtrooms. Insufficient judicial time.

Have you tried mediation? Mediation is an alternative means of dispute settlement which became fully institutionalised in or about 2006 in Grenada. The persons in the dispute must agree to attend. The success rate of the programme in achieving agreements by parties is good.

The process enables persons to resolve their dispute without a judge. They sit around a table with a person who is trained to facilitate their dialogue, in a respectful and confidential setting.

Persons can use a Court-trained and approved mediator, and the facilities of the Mediation Center at Scott Street to host the mediation session. If they cannot attend physically, they can attend via Skype or other videoconferencing facility set up in advance.

Better yet, persons can go to mediation without an attorney-at-law, although having one is often very helpful in arriving at well-informed decisions.

Did you know that you can:

(a) Go to mediation even though you have not yet filed a court action;

(b) Go to mediation more than once;

(c) Be assured of the confidentiality of your dispute by using the mediation process instead of filing your action in Court;

(d) Have your dispute resolved in as little as three (3) hours instead of years awaiting a trial date;

(e) Use mediation to resolve just about every type of dispute you can have with anyone;

(f) Spend only hundreds of dollars instead of thousands to have your dispute resolved via this means;

(g) Walk away from mediation far happier than if you receive a favourable order from a Judge; and

(h) Have your mediation agreement enforced by the Court as if the Court had given a judgment?

Everyone wants his day in Court, but, will it come?

(The above was submitted by the Grenada Bar Association)

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