Mediated Talks Silence Disputes
Wednesday - January 19, 2011 Share
By Michael Nauyokas
Mediation Center of the Pacific Esq., Immediate Past President
Since its founding 31 years ago, the Mediation Center of the Pacific has helped tens of thousands of parties settle their disputes outside the courtroom in private, yet official meetings.
This year, the Mediation Center of the Pacific’s 200 professional mediators will help more 5,000 people resolve conflicts peacefully. Disputing parties range from employees/employers, consumers/merchants, landlords/tenants and feuding family members.
Take, for example, the case of Joe and Malia, who have been separated since July 2010 when a bitter dispute fractured their eight-year marriage. Joe yearns to see his two children - Kayla, 2, and Bryce, 6 - who are living with Malia and her parents. When they file for divorce the couple is required to contact the Kid’s First program, where they learned about the center.
During an initial session at the center, Joe and Malia agree that Joe should have regular time-sharing meetings with the children. They also agree to return to mediation in two weeks with the paperwork needed to work through all the issues necessary to finalize their divorce. By using mediation to resolve their issues, the couple is avoiding a potentially costly legal battle.
Resolving issues through mediation is both private and more certain, faster and cheaper than litigation. These are some of the reasons why our executive director, Tracey Wiltgen, asserts that it’s better to “talk it out rather than fight it out.”
In today’s bad economy, the number of disputes has increased. Hence, our vital need is to expand awareness of the center’s services to ensure we are serving the community’s growing need.
Likewise, we seek donations to enable us to provide pro bono services to those in need. On April 30, we have one of our annual fundraisers, an evening of entertainment and fine wines called “Under the Mediation Moon 2011” that is held on the Great Lawn of La Pietra School. Call the center for tickets and table reservations.
The Mediation Center of the Pacific is located at 245 N. Kukui St., Suite # 206. For information, call 521-6767 or visit mediatehawaii.org.
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