Skinner & Associates – Now Certified in Mediation

When two parties cannot come to an amicable solution, sometimes they call upon a mediator to help settle the issue. Mediation is a method of alternative dispute resolution that utilizes an unbiased third party. The mediator does not make a decision but rather provides suggestions and helps to create the dialogue to come to an agreement.

Why mediation?

Mediation is typically quicker, less expensive and a more simplistic way to settle a dispute. It allows both parties to consider all the situations that might have led to the dispute instead of a narrow legal issue. The question of fault and right or wrong is typically not the focus of the discussions, rather coming to an adequate resolution is the goal.

Should you use mediation?

If you are in a position of being unable or even unwilling to resolve a dispute, using mediation is a good option to provide a resolution. Mediation is a short term process which is very structured. The mediator works with both parties by overseeing the exchange of information. They help them find a common ground and resolve unrealistic expectations while determining appropriate solutions. They may also be called upon to draft a settlement.

When mediation is necessary

Mediation is typically a voluntary exercise but can also be court ordered. It is common in a small claims situation, housing issues and family law. It is also occasionally used in criminal court proceedings. While a litigation process involves a judge making the final decisions, in mediation, both parties and the mediator work together to determine the terms of the both the mediation process as well as the final agreement.

After a resolution is reached

When the mediation process is concluded the final agreement can be either oral or written. The laws in the jurisdiction in which the mediation occurs will determine if the agreement is binding. If an agreement cannot be reached the parties can pursue other legal measures to make their claims.

At Skinner & Associates, we are pleased to announce that in addition to our full range of legal practice areas, we are also certified to help clients through the mediation process. If you are considering mediation to settle a legal dispute, contact our trusted team today.  


The information at the Skinner & Associates, LLC web site is intended for general informational purposes only and not as specific legal advice. Use of this site is not intended to and does not in any way establish an attorney-client relationship. Visitors to this site should seek professional legal counsel regarding their specific matters. Attorneys at Skinner & Associates, LLC would be pleased to speak with interested parties, but we can only represent clients where we are licensed to practice, and where no other bar to representation exists. If the information provided by this website does not comply with the legal or ethical requirements of a particular user’s state or country, we may be unable to represent you.

Although we are a general practice law firm, we may be considered a debt relief agency because we help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

What is a Guardianship and Why Does It Matter?

A guardian is a person who is legally responsible for another individual who is unable to manage his or her own affairs. The guardian is appointed by a judge and is able to make a variety of important decisions on behalf of the individual. They are called on to protect the individual and their property. Depending upon the specific terms of the agreement, as well as a state’s rules overseeing this designation, a guardian might be able to make legal, financial, and health care decisions on behalf of the individual. You might be asked to handle the following if you are appointed as a guardian.

  • Oversee and make investments
  • Take care of day-to-day expenses
  • Oversee real estate transactions
  • Handle Social Security benefits
  • Obtain and oversee Medicaid benefits
  • Speak on loved one’s behalf regarding medical concerns
  • Handle insurance claims
  • Oversee distribution of pension benefits

Who Needs a Guardian?

The standards for determining the need for a guardian can vary from state to state. In general, it will be ordered if the individual is unable to make decisions on their own behalf. It must be proven that they are unable to act in their own best interest. A guardian is appointed in the absence of a power of attorney (this includes financial and medical powers of attorney).

Who can be a Guardian?

While the best case scenario is to appoint a family member in the role of guardian, the
State may select a friend, neighbor, or even a public or private agency to take
on this role. This further speaks to the importance of making these important
decisions in advance whenever possible.

Legal Proceedings

A guardianship can be requested by any party who believes it is in the individual’s best interest. This party will likely hire an attorney to file the petition. After this happens, a hearing will be held to determine what is in the best interest of the individual.

If you are looking for more information about guardianship proceedings, contact the trusted professionals at Skinner & Associates. They have six offices to serve clients in Reynoldsburg and throughout central Ohio.What is Guardianship and Why Does it Matter