top of page

John M. Wagner as a neutral attorney, mediator and settlement master for the following:

  • Civil Law Areas of Experience & Expertise: Insurance Disputes, Real Estate, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Family Law, Probate, Wills, Agriculture Law, and Business Law.

  • Court Ordered Mediations in Montana and Settlement Conferences. Willing to Travel.

  • Federal Court Mediations: Missoula, Great Falls and Helena.

  •  Montana Supreme Court Ordered Mediations.

What is Mediation? The Best alternative to a Lawsuit.

  • Mediation is an informal process where a neutral third party (mediator) serves as a facilitator between the parties to aid in resolution of their dispute. The mediator helps the parties identify and evaluate the issues, interests, and values to aid the parties in the creation of mutually acceptable solution for their dispute.

    • In mediation, the final decision authority always rests with the parties to agree or not on a final solution to their dispute.

    • Mediation is court order because it works.  

    • If mediation is not successful, then the parties may proceed to have their case presented to a judge or jury.

Why Mediate? Saves you time, money, and energy.

  • When compared to a lawsuit and litigation, the benefits of mediation are many and varied. These benefits include the following:

    • Mediation can resolve a dispute between parties quickly, often during a mediation session lasting only 4-8 hours.

    • Mediation can usually be scheduled within a week or month. In court, lawsuits and litigation can last many years.

    • The coast of mediation is inexpensive compared to the cost of lawsuits and litigation, and usually costs less than taking one deposition.

    • Mediation offers the parties a path to an amicable resolution of their dispute and with much less time, money, stress and cost than litigation.

      • This is particularly important in cases involving families, businesses and similar cases where the parties need to maintain an ongoing relationship.

    • Mediation is a confidential and private solution to a dispute.  Court is open to the public, social media and news.

    • The terms of the settlement are private and confidential if the parties desire.

      • At mediation, the mediator often helps the parties formulate creative solutions to the dispute, thereby providing remedies not otherwise available through a lawsuit or litigation. For example, instead of being limited to money judgments, injunctions and similar remedies provided by courts, the parties can resolve their dispute creatively with their own solutions by trading or dividing property, providing services, providing payments over time etc.

  • Because the final decision authority rests with the parties in mediation, they have more control over the outcome of their own case than risking the win/lose outcome a court provides.

  • In a courtroom, the parties forfeit control and the parties must accept a decision made by an unknown and unpredictable judge or jury.

What is an Outline of Events for a Mediation?

The initial joint session:

  • The mediator will first summarize his or her background and explain the procedures to be followed during the mediation.

  • It will also be explained that everything that transpires at the mediation will be confidential.

  • Each of the parties will be provided and opportunity to make an opening statement wherein it is expected that they will be in good faith summarize the facts and issues which are important to the resolution of the case.

After the initial joint session:

  • The mediator may separate the parties and have individual caucuses (private meetings) with each side.

  • During these caucuses, the mediator will ask questions and provide insight regarding the strengths and weaknesses of a party’s position and assist in the risk evaluation process.

  • The mediator will then facilitate communication between the parties to enable them to negotiate their own favorable resolution by repeating these individual caucuses and occasionally reconvening the parties for joint sessions.

At the conclusion of the Mediation process:

  • The mediator will declare a complete or partial settlement or declare an impasse if he or she is unable to assist the parties in reaching a favorable resolution.

In the event of a settlement or agreement at Mediation:

  • The material terms of the settlement are put in writing and the agreement is signed by the parties (and legal counsel, if any).

bottom of page