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Services

GENERALLY

It is becoming quite popular for those approaching retirement or in need of elder care (or those providing elder care) business people, and divorcing couples to utilize mediation as a way of resolving disputes. Frequently, their attorneys suggest that parties with civil disputes or persons simply bogged down in decision making process try mediation before they incur the time, expense, distraction or heartache involved in the litigation process. Mediation is, facilitated by a neutral third party, is, in fact, now a mandatory part of the court process in civil, domestic administrative courts in North Carolina. It has also been adopted as a voluntary process in the criminal courts.

PRE-TRIAL MEDIATION

It’s something everyone has to do if they become involved in a law suit. So why not do it now?! Why not take control of your dispute, and your future, and suggest to your attorney or client, to involve a mediator early in the dispute in order to manage it and help create an orderly way to resolve it?
A trained and experienced mediator can help you turn an ugly dispute into a problem solving discussion or turn a bitter battle over money into a civilized and cost effective negotiation. We are ready to help you with that process. Mediation is now mandatory in all civil cases in the Superior Courts of North Carolina. Early in the lawsuit, the court will order the litigants, their attorneys and others, such as insurance claims representatives, to take time out from preparing the case for trial in order to negotiate a settlement of the suit.

POST FILING MEDIATION
Mediation has worked well as a case management tool in our court system, so well that we only try 4-5% of our cases. But the process has also worked well for litigants and their attorneys. Litigants are much more involved in the negotiation process than they used to be and, thus, more able to fashion creative solutions. And, the negotiation process occurs much earlier in the life of the case, giving everyone an opportunity to avoid the costly and time-consuming process of preparing for and conducting trial. We have been a provider of mediation services in the courts since 1999 and would be honored to serve you.

ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS

The OAH is the agency of administrative law judges (ALJs) that hears appeals from decisions of State agencies. The subject matter of the hearings depends on the subject matter handled by the agency and is as wide ranging as personnel matters from the Department of State Personnel to soil and erosion penalties from the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources. Decisions of the ALJs are sent back to the agency for review but are not binding on the agency.
Because the hearings often involve complicated and technical matters, the time required to fully hear those matters can be extensive. So, in the early 1990s, the OAH’s mediation program was authorized. It continues today as a routine part of the life of the case, although the ALJs have discretion as to which cases are ordered to mediation.
Thorns Craven and Andy Little have had extensive experience in appeals to the OAH and welcome your inquiries about assisting you with mediation services in those cases. Dan has appeared before most if not all, the licensing agencies, including but not limited to: The office of the Commissioner of Banks, The Medical Board, The Nursing Board, The Real Estate Commission, The North Carolina State Bar, The General Contractors Board, The Surveyors Board, The Department of Insurance and many others. Thus we are prepared to work with counsel to design an arbitration or mediation process that is both cost efficient and appropriate to the size of the claim. Our administrative fees are reasonable and more than competitive in the field.