Circle And Mediation

Decision Making Services in Minneapolis

"In the majority of cases, when people are willing to work together with a facilitator or mediator and cooperate, it is possible to reach satisfactory solutions that reflect the best possible outcome for everyone."

Timing and service are critical in today's fast-paced and competitive legal world. MacDonald Law Firm provides personalized and timely legal support services for our attorneys and clients including service of process, legal document courier, notary, mobile notary and paralegal assistance for research and litigation support. Our law firm effectively uses the team approach. Our clients get the benefit of each attorney's or paralegal's particular strengths.

Golden Rule of Michelle MacDonald

Life Happens, Conflicts Happen. And no matter how carefully we plan our lives, problems and conflict occur.Sometimes conflicts are minor, and with time we are able to resolve them. But when issues flare up, and resentment, anger, blame or misunderstandings occur, then we have conflict. Unresolved conflict can be stressful, time-consuming and costly.'s trained, experienced circle facilitators and mediators have the skills to make a difference and assist you in examining issues in a productive way.

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What is Mediation?

Mediation is Voluntary - It encourages cooperative problem solving. Your neutral mediator maintains order during the mediation and makes certain both sides are heard. The mediator is not an advocate. The mediator does not decide the outcome. The mediator assists people in communicating and reaching their own agreements.

Mediation is Simple - The basics of Dispute Resolution are simple. Two or more people are in a dispute. One person contacts the others with the option of mediation instead of litigation. They agree on what method of Dispute Resolution will best suit their situation.

Qualified Neutrals - We have attorneys and mediators who are Rule 114 qualified neutrals. A qualified neutral must be qualified through continuing education courses. Maintaining qualification as a neutral requires continuing education credits every year. In Mediation you create your own agreement. Research has shown that people are more likely to abide by agreements they create.

Legally Trained Mediator - While a neutral does not have to be an attorney, a legally trained neutral is sometimes the best option. Most disputes have legal implications. Lawyers are better equipped to handle the legal aspects of Dispute Resolution. A mediator that is also a lawyer can take the facts and figure out how the law applies.

Circle Facilitators - Another powerful way to resolve conflict is a restorative justice circle, that anyone can start by sitting down with a trained facilitator. Here we work to help you communicate with each other to identify the sources of conflict, central themes and common topics including behaviors that can cause upset. Circle facilitators advocate a unitive system of justice that is equal and voluntary, and integrates restorative justice practices, where those in conflict meet in a safe space, hear each other out, and decide what to do about their conflict.

What Types Of Conflicts Do We Handle?

Our circle facilitators and mediators handle all types of conflict including:

Marriage & Relationships - Expectations, Children, Money, Time, Sex, Extended Family, Communication. You name it. Just about any conflict in a relationship or marriage can be resolved by use of a trained, experienced circle facilitator or mediator.

Family Law - Divorce, Custody, Parenting Plans, Joint Parenting, Child Support, Alimony, Paternity, Post-Divorce issues, Stepparent Adoption and Adoption Plans.

Wills & Probate - Will Contests, Guardianship, Conservatorship, Probate and Trust and Estate Administration disputes.

Employer & Employee - Grievances, harassment, workplace disputes, hiring / supervision, wrongful discharge, discrimination, family owned businesses.

Business & Consumer - Corporations, partnerships, contracts, business break up, business sale / purchase, problems with goods and services.

Injury - Personal Injury, work injury, motor vehicle accidents, insurance disputes, wrongful death, property damage.

Real Estate - Purchase and sale contracts, construction, mechanic liens, closings, title problems, landlord / tenant.

Property and Small Claims - Accidents, return of money or property, vandalism, property damage. We Do It All

Restorative Justice Circles - Here, anyone can begin to resolve a conflict or injustice by starting a “circle.” The process begins by talking to trained facilitator who can meet with you to listen to your problem, and customize what is needed for resolution of conflicts in your home, work or community, based on your personal information and situation. Restorative Justice emphasizes repairing the harm caused by the conflict. When participants meet to decide how to do that, the results can be transformational.

Family Innocence Process - In the “FIP” model, separating or separated family members with a conflict pledge not to sue each other in court (or to suspend an existing lawsuit). Then, data is provided for personalized sessions with a neutral mediator who helps you decide your own case. A friendly decision-maker, learned in family law, can provide a binding decision upon impasse. This simple process involves court jurisdiction and orders only when necessary (ie. To terminate a marriage relationship).

Non-binding Arbitration - The arbitrator makes the decision, but either party, if unsatisfied, can move towards litigation. The participants decide beforehand whether the arbitrator’s decision is going to be non-binding or binding.

Binding Arbitration - Once the arbitrator’s decision is made it is permanent and legally binding. However, both parties have time to appeal before this occurs.

Early Neutral Evaluation - We provide early neutral evaluation services, sometimes incorporating neutral professionals to assist parties, including accountants, financial planners, and those working with children such as parenting consultants, parenting time expeditors, guardians, custody evaluators.

Collaborative & Cooperative Law - We provide Collaborative services where parties, their attorneys, and any other collaborative professionals plan together to craft an agreement to avoid contentious court proceedings.

Moderated Settlements - Many courts order mediation before allowing the case to be heard by a judge. The popularity of dispute resolution in a wide variety of cases is due in part to court mandates. We provide mediators who are attorneys and participate in moderate settlements in court cases and at the courthouse with your Judge available to place settlements on the record.

Property and Small Claims - Accidents, return of money or property, vandalism, property damage.

Why Use Golden Rule Mediation & Arbitration?

Convenient - We can schedule your mediation promptly after your call, and assist you in reaching solutions to problems you are experiencing.

Confidential - Your mediation will take place in a neutral and private setting. The information you share remains private and protected.

Affordable - Mediation is less time consuming, more efficient, and costs less than litigating.

Flexible - Mediation allows you to create the best possible solution.

Immediate - You will not have to wait for a judge or jury to determine the outcome of your case. Result can happen fast.