Attorney Mary Markovich
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Estate Planning and AdministrationSpecial Needs & Disability PlanningGuardianship and Fiduciary ServicesMedicaid AppealsNursing Home Law and LitigationSocial Security Disability AppealsVA Compensation and Pension BenefitsDispute Resolution Services
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Dispute Resolution Services

Elder Mediation

Attorney Mary Markovich is certified by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission as a Mediator for all issues before the Clerk of Superior Court, including Guardianship and Elder Law Issues. Additionally, the Commission has certified her to mediate in Family Financial Settlement cases and Superior Court disputes. She is a certified Arbitrator and Parenting Coordinator.

Elder Mediation

There are many decisions a family needs to make when it comes to the best care for a loved one who no longer is able to live alone, who requires assistance with daily living, or requires medical care or one that just wants comfort in knowing "everything is taken care of and in order". With so many important decisions to make and so many interested parties involved everyone can benefit from the mediation process and avoid having family relationships being strained and torn apart. This can occur several different ways, for example:

* Conflict can erupt between siblings or between an adult child and his or her parent. Siblings may disagree on who should have power of attorney.
* One sibling may feel that he or she is doing all the care-giving.
* A parent and child may disagree about the best living situation for the parent.
* A spouse or sibling might not agree with how the care-giving facility is addressing the needs of their loved one.

In these situations, mediation may be the solution. Mediation allows all the parties to sit down and discuss the issues and try to come up with a solution that everyone can agree on. A mediator is a neutral third party who can help families come to a consensus on a number of family issues from estate planning to guardianship decisions to living arrangements.

Mediation is completely voluntary. For it to be effective, all relevant family members should be involved. You can also involve other professionals, such as a geriatric care manager or a financial planner.

We are here to listen to the issues, keeps the family focused on the goals, encourage consideration of all the options, and help clear up misunderstandings and address hurt feelings. Through this process, the family can come up with answers to problems or ways of solving conflicts.

Don't suffer the heartache and stress by allowing these issues to permeate! Don't allow important relationships to deteriorate! Call us and allow us to provide some clarity to your situation. Let us work with you to create solutions for a better life.

In mediation, the parties negotiate the settlement themselves and know what the result will be, eliminating the risk of a jury or other decision-maker randomly and haphazardly deciding the case. Thus, both parties benefit in mediation.


In today's terms, arbitration is not only a legal alternative to the court system, court systems actually embrace arbitration as a means of obtaining faster, more efficient resolutions to civil disputes while reducing the size of court dockets. For people without much experience with either system, arbitration sometimes looks very much like a court trial: both have opening statements, testimony, evidence, witnesses, cross examination, closing statements, and binding decisions rendered by a neutral person after carefully weighing the facts.

Arbitration is a method of dispute resolution through a neutral third party, the arbitrator. The arbitrator issues either a binding or non-binding decisions. Binding decisions are enforceable under state and federal law, and there is no need for a trial or the review of a trial court’s decisions by the appellate courts.

One might think arbitration modeled itself after the court system, but the reverse is true. The earliest recorded use of arbitration can be found in ancient Egyptian writings, over 5000 years ago — long before the existence of a judicial branch of government.

Differences Between an Arbitration Hearing and a Traditional Trial

Some of the biggest differences between binding arbitration and court are:

  • Arbitration is final; court decisions can be appealed and drag on for year
  • Arbitration is informal; court is more formal with rules and procedures that (a) make expensive professional representation (lawyers) almost mandatory, and (b) occasionally turn a case upside down on a technicality or rule violation.
  • Arbitration is fast with flexible schedules; court dockets are backed up and rigid
  • Arbitration can cross geographical boundaries easily; courts cannot

Professional, neutral arbitrators, who are often more experienced in the specific subject matter of the dispute than judges, weigh facts and make unbiased, rational decisions.

Differences Between An Arbitration Hearing and Mediation

Mediation is a method of dispute resolution whereby the disputing parties achieve a mutually-satisfactory resolution with the assistance of a mediator. Unlike arbitration sessions, mediation sessions are not “decided” in favor of one party or another; rather, the mediator simply facilitates the negotiation process between the parties. Mediating parties are not bound to resolve their dispute (although mediated settlements, once reached, can be made binding if the parties decide to draft a contract called a settlement agreement). Arbitrating parties, on the other hand, receive a final decision from the arbitrator, which is either binding or non-binding depending on the terms of the arbitration agreement.

To settle your dispute in a peaceful setting,