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Is An Agreement Reached in Mediation Enforceable?
Not all cases filed in court are decided immediately. More often, it takes time to reach the final verdict. Along the way, anything can take place. Usually, disputes end up in agreement between two parties.
Even when there is still no case file in court, mediation determines the direction of disputes. As a result, lawyers of disputants can immediately prepare an agreement that is legally binding and enforceable to both parties. In other words, settlement happens outside the court.
When an agreement is reached, lawyers will file a formal document which both parties shall abide. The document is immediately enforceable when signed by all disputants. If a case had already been filed before an outside settlement was reached, lawyers of disputants shall file an official document to dismiss the case.
What Happens When the Agreement Is Broken?
Since all the involved parties signed the agreement, they are all liable to all the provisions included in the said document. Normally, provisions and clauses include the liabilities and sanctions when the agreement is broken.
When anyone breaks the mediation agreement, the person will be sued for breaking it. On top of that, the person will also face a separate case which is the breach of contract. Consequently, another case shall be filed in court for the said breach of contract. When the case is decided against the person who broke the agreement, payment for damages shall be charged to the offender.
There are several instances that an agreement takes place within a court case. In that situation, the agreement is considered court ordered. It means that the mediation has been made by the judge, and anyone who breaks the contract is not only liable for the breach of contract but also liable for the contempt of court.
The Role of Lawyers in Mediation
Every dispute that leads to agreeable settlements must be just and fair to both parties. There are cases that one party is not aware whether an offer is legally fair or not. Moreover, any agreement without the presence of a lawyer of any party is not legally binding.
It is important to consult a lawyer first before making or accepting any proposal. This is because there are a lot of factors to consider before entering an agreement with another party involved in the prior dispute.
The most important role of lawyers is the mediation process itself. Lawyers are the ones to prepare all the legal documents in order for an agreement to be binding and enforceable.
Lastly, lawyers will ensure that their clients will not be put at disadvantage in the settlement process. Both lawyers of the two agreeing parties will serve as the check and balance in the mediation.
If you are in a dispute and in the process of having a settlement agreement with another person, it is recommended that you go through mediation in order to enforce the agreement for your own protection. By having a lawyer on your side, the agreement reached in mediation is enforceable.