Video mediation helps lawyers cut costs

Monday, December 6 2010

Face-to-face meetings will never go out of style, but video conferencing has given lawyers and mediators a way to cut costs and add convenience for their clients, says Lawyers Weekly.

Video mediation is increasingly becoming a trend in divorces and other disputes, says Petra Maxwell, founder and CEO of MediationLine in New York City.

Maxwell tells the publication that video mediation is becoming popular, because the current economic climate is causing people to look for savings wherever they can. In addition, the market of "techno-comfortable" people is growing, she says. Recently, Maxwell mediated a divorce where the male was in New York and the female was in California.

The technology can save lawyers hundreds of dollars in travel fees, which drives down the overall cost of their service for clients who may be daunted by high legal fees.

According to Mark Shapiro, the typical mediation lends itself perfectly to the video conferencing technology, because face-to-face meetings actually involve very little face time.

"After the opening caucus, the mediator shuffles between parties sitting in different rooms," he explained to Lawyers Weekly. "The parties are not in the same room 90 percent of the time. Do they even need to be in the same city?"

According to the website Mediate, mediation is a positive way to resolve differences. The process is generally less expensive than litigation or other forms of fighting, and parties who have reached their own agreement are more likely to comply with its terms.