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Eric C. Lewis  
Attorney at Law  

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Mediation - An affordable solution to litigation

Mr. Lewis is an Indiana court-approved and registered Certified Civil Mediator. Mr. Lewis uses mediation to resolve disputes to not only avoid the high cost of ongoing litigation, but also to minimize the emotional toll that often comes with such litigation. As an impartial go-between and diplomat, Mr. Lewis serves to confidentially facilitate an agreement between parties to come to a well-informed and rationale settlement of the respective disputes.

Mr. Lewis is professionally trained to serve either independent of both parties (a mediator) or as counsel and attorney to one party in a mediaton setting (an advocate).

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that enables disputing parties to come to an agreement before the escalation of costly litigation or if litigation has already started, mediation helps the parties avoid further bloodletting in time and money. Mediation allows parties to jointly reach a decision, rather than relying on and being subject to the binding decision of a judge. In a mediation, a third-party neutral encourages the opposing parties to find a resolution to the dispute. It is an informal and non-adversarial process and the mediator does not make a decision for the parties; the parties are encouraged to agree to a settlement. The mediator helps the parties identify the issues, find common groundn and explore the risks and benefits of continuing the litigation, dispute or coming to a settlement agreement.

The Lewis approach to mediation

As an impartial mediator, Mr. Lewis does not make decisions for the parties; rather, he helps to facilitate a mutually acceptable agreement by playing "devils advocate" and helping each side to weigh the benefit of settling the dispute against the high cost of prolonging litigation or escalating the ongoing dispute in any number of ways. Mr. Lewis does not believe in the "pigeon carrier" method of shuffling between parties and simply relaying messages. Mr. Lewis works hands on with both parties to explore what the parties respective expectations are coming in and what they should reasonably be should they decide not to settle. In litigation, each and every party should always try to determine what their "best day in court" looks like and conversely, what the worse day would look like. When a party understands this, coupled with the knowledge of realistic opportunities and drawbacks alike, you get a better idea of whether settlement in mediation is viable or not.

Areas of Mediation

Mr. Lewis mediates in disputes involving:

  • Bankruptcy/Insolvency
  • Debt Settlement/ Collections
  • Mortgage short sales/workouts
  • Personal injury
  • Contracts/ Agreement Disputes
  • Trusts/Wills/Will Contests/Probate
  • Court ordered mediation (federal and state)

Cost of Mediation

Lewis Legal Services provides mediation service at $175.00/hour with a minimum committment of $500.00 once the parties agree to, and schedule, a mediation. The time to mediate typically depends on a number of things, but primarily the complexity of the issues, the positions of the parties, and the parties' respective effort at negotiating in good faith to try to come to a resolution and agreement that is mutually acceptable. A typical mediation may consist of a half day (4-6 hours), full day (8 hours) or several days (more complex cases). Typically, the parties agree to evenly split the cost of mediation but any arrangement may be made as far as who bears the cost.

Qualifications

Attorney Eric Lewis is an Indiana Certified Civil Mediator as contemplated by the Indiana Rules for Alternative Dispute Resolution. To become and maintain the status as a Certified Civil Mediator, an attorney must, among other things, be in good standing with the Supreme Court of Indiana, complete 40 hours of approved civil mediation training and complete an additional six hours of approved Continuing Mediation Education training every 3-year educational period of continuing education for lawyers.

Mr. Lewis completed the initial 40-hour requirement and received his 40 Hour Certificate of Completion in January 2008 and recently received his NBI Certificate of Completion of additional 6 hours of training for the reporting period of 2010-2012.

Helpful Brochure Information

Pre-Suit Mediation: A New Alternative to Litigation (courtesy of the Indiana State Bar Association)

Alternative Dispute Resolution (courtesy of the Indiana State Bar Association)

Helpful Links

Indiana Rules for Alternative Dispute Resolution

Understanding the Mediation Process

 

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Lewis Legal Services, P.C. is a federal debt relief agency that helps people file for bankruptcy relief.