Kansas and Missouri Mediator
Dispute Resolution with Integrity and Experience
Meet Our Mediator
Rick Morefield leads the firm’s mediation services practice and regularly serves as a mediator throughout Kansas and Missouri. He has been on the approved mediator list for the United States District Court of Missouri Western District since obtaining advanced, mediation training in 2012. He is on the Western District of Missouri Category 1 Panel and the Missouri Rule 17 approved mediator list. He mediates cases involving personal injury, wrongful death, business disputes, trusts and estates, and other matters. His depth of experience and calm demeanor put him in a position to help the parties settle their case on their own terms.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) where a neutral third party, known as a mediator, helps the parties to a lawsuit reach a settlement. This process is designed to promote voluntary agreement and resolution of disputes, avoiding the need for a formal court trial. It can be used in a wide range of legal disputes, including family law, business disputes, and personal injury cases.
Why Choose Mediation?
Mediation has many benefits that make it an attractive choice for resolving disputes:
- Control: In mediation, the parties have control over the outcome.
Unlike court cases, here the final decision is made by a judge or
jury, the disputing parties determine the outcome in mediation.
Trials usually have a winner and loser. At mediation, the parties
can decide to compromise.
- Confidentiality: Mediation is a private process. Anything discussed during mediation cannot be revealed outside of the mediation process, providing a safe space for open and honest communication. If the parties desire, their settlement can be confidential. Jury verdicts are public.
- Cost-effectiveness: Mediation often costs significantly less than litigation. The process is generally quicker, reducing legal fees and court costs.
- Relationship Preservation: Because mediation is a more collaborative process, it can help preserve relationships that might otherwise be damaged in a contentious court trial. This is often important in business cases and in probate litigation where the parties may want to work together in the future.
- Flexibility: Mediation can be tailored to fit the needs of the parties involved. The process is flexible, allowing for creative solutions and terms that might not be possible in a court setting.
How Does Mediation Work in Kansas and Missouri?
In Kansas and Missouri, mediation is encouraged and often required by the courts for certain types of disputes. The mediation process typically
involves the following steps:
01. Initial Contact
The parties or their attorneys contact a mediator to arrange for a mediation session.
The mediator may hold pre-mediation meetings with the parties or lawyers to understand the dispute better and to prepare both parties for the mediation session. Frequently, the parties send the mediator a case summary ahead of the mediation.
03. Mediation Session
The parties meet with the mediator. Each party will have an opportunity to share their perspective on the dispute either in a joint session or privately with the mediator. The mediator facilitates discussion and negotiation between the parties. Sometimes the parties meet jointly with the mediator. Frequently, the mediator meets with each party separately.
If the parties reach an agreement, the mediator will often help draft a basic agreement, which is then reviewed by the parties and their attorneys. Once signed, the agreement becomes legally binding. The parties typically draft a more detailed settlement agreement at a later time with the help of their lawyers.
05. Follow Up
If no agreement is reached, the parties may decide to continue with additional mediation sessions, or they may choose to proceed with litigation.
In Kansas and Missouri, mediators must adhere to high ethical standards of professionalism, impartiality, and confidentiality. Having experienced legal counsel during mediation can help ensure your interests are fully represented. A knowledgeable lawyer can provide you with the necessary legal advice and support you need during mediation, helping you navigate the process efficiently and effectively.
Book a Mediation with Our Mediator Today!
If you need a mediator, check Rick’s availability and book a time below!
This calendar displays actual mediation slots available to reserve. If you want to have questions before booking, give Rick a call at (913) 839-2808.