Many of the firm’s attorneys conduct mediations and arbitrations utilizing the Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation of the Institute for Christian Conciliation (ICC). While similar in many respects to traditional alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, this method differs with its focus on bringing about both substantive resolution and personal reconciliation.
The ICC has conferred the designation of Certified Christian Conciliator™ upon several of the firm’s attorneys, reflecting the substantial additional training and experience they have in this area. These attorneys not only serve as mediators and arbitrators, but also represent clients who are parties to mediations and arbitrations conducted pursuant to ICC rules.
Virtually any type of dispute can be handled through conciliation, including the following:
- Allegations of sexual harassment or abuse
- Breach of contract, including leases
- Church and denominational splits or disputes
- Construction disputes (residential and commercial)
- Divorce mediation (under certain conditions described below)
- Embezzlement cases
- Employment matters, including discrimination and unlawful termination cases
- Family disputes, including estate issues
- General business disputes, including business entity dissolutions
- Professional malpractice cases
- Intellectual property issues
The Institute for Christian Conciliation is a division of Peacemaker Ministries. Additional information on Christian Conciliation and a copy of the Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation can be found at www.peacemaker.net under resources for alternate dispute resolution and legal professionals.
In the divorce mediation context, the firm’s attorneys who conduct conciliations have established certain conditions, including: (1) at least one party to the mediation must earnestly desire to reconcile the marriage; (2) both parties must desire to be as reconciled as possible (although one of the parties may not believe reconciling the marriage is possible or desirable); and (3) the parties’ church must not object to the firm’s attorney conducting the divorce mediation. The mediator will first seek to promote reconciliation of the marriage and, if the parties are unable to reconcile, will work with them to reach an amicable resolution on such issues as child custody, property division, and alimony. It is our belief that an amicable resolution of these issues, as compared to a bitter dispute over them, is in the best interest of the couple’s children and leaves room for future reconciliation of the marriage.
The firm’s attorneys typically charge an hourly fee, which is split among the parties. Because of the unique nature of church conflict interventions, the firm typically establishes a fixed fee and schedule prior to undertaking this type of work.