As a local mediator, I was interested in the March 10 news article "Delays mount as court budgets cut, caseloads climb." The cuts and layoffs have had a big impact on the speed with which the courts can handle all the cases. I searched the article for any mention of other solutions to this problem, however, and didn't see any. Did you know there are more than 30 court-approved mediators listed on the Kern County Superior Court website?

Mediation can usually be scheduled within a week and the problem can be solved. The parties participate in problem-solving sessions with a trained neutral professional until a mutually beneficial solution is found.

Mediators help the parties look for a win-win solution, and when they find it, a contract is signed that outlines the commitments for both sides. Mediation is faster, often less expensive and, more importantly, a process that often results in a more mutually beneficial solution than court processes.