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Does Mediation Have A Role in Elderly Client Issues?

Posted: Friday, 4 January 2019 @ 13:43

While elderly client legal issues have their own specific dynamics such as where the mental capacity of one or more of the parties may be in doubt, there are at least two reasons to try to mediate.

First, the Court rules encourage mediation. 

The MCA Code of Practice 15.7 to 15.13 details when is mediation useful. e.g it states -a mediator helps people to come to an agreement that is acceptable to all parties. Mediation can help solve a problem at an early stage. It offers a wider range of solutions than the court can – and it may be less stressful for all parties, more cost-effective and quicker. People who come to an agreement through mediation are more likely to keep to it, because they have taken part in decision-making.

This gives a sound legal basis for mediation.

The second reason may seem slightly surprising. 

Solicitors are pro mediation - Craig Ward, author of Lasting Powers of Attorney produced a survey of 74 solicitors and 26 non solicitors for the book - According to the results, the majority of solicitors commented positively how mediation could be used to improve litigation for elderly clients, with many solicitors saying that the conventional court system may be unsuitable for those elderly clients. 

Ward concluded "Mediation was seen, in some instances as more effective in resolving disputes. Most of those questioned did not consider lack of mental capacity as a significant barrier to mediation."  

Given the above, mediation is a clearly effective possible tool for resolving disputes without having to complete the legal process by going to Court.