WILLIAM McBEE SMITH: MEDIATOR
William McBee Smith is a Board Certified Circuit Court Mediator in South Carolina. With the explosion and escalating cost of modern litigation, civil mediation is a cost effective alternative to resolving expensive and complicated legal disputes. The mediation process is substantially cheaper, quicker, and less stressful to the parties than traditional litigation. The parties start the mediation process by selecting an independent and neutral mediator. Often, the parties and their attorneys will go through a list of qualified mediators before settling on a particular mediator that both sides feel is neutral and best suited to the particular case to assist the parties. The role of a mediator is not to act as a judge or arbiter to decide the outcome of the case. The mediator decides no issues. Rather, the role of a mediator is to assist and facilitate the parties in deciding the outcome of the case. Typically, the parties will meet at a neutral location or office that has multiple conference rooms. The parties will often start out together in one conference room where the mediator will introduce the mediation process to the parties. Typically, the attorneys will present an opening argument for their clients, discussing the evidence, exhibits and testimony develop in discovery. Initial settlement demands and terms may be discussed. The parties often adjourn to different conference rooms while the mediator meets separately with the parties to assist in evaluating the case and options for reaching settlement. The mediation process often results in both sides reaching settlement terms that are preferable to the unpredictable outcome of a jury trial or bench trial.