Engage, Empower, Resolve
As the association and housing industry evolves, there will be a greater need for alternative dispute resolution with respect to community disputes, such as mediation and arbitration. In an effort to help the industry, attorney, Wes Wollenweber has developed a mediation and arbitration practice geared at community disputes and has authored a book on the subject. Wes has used his out-of-the-box skills to help communities resolve complex issues for multiple stakeholders involving land issues, development, neighbor-to-neighbor conflicts, and other challenging issues. Communities can find themselves upside down financially quickly in many legal disputes and dispute resolution can prevent those types of unnecessary outcomes.
Tired of the same approach? Wes’ approach to mediation is the result of many years of advocating clients in a variety of legal disputes and contemplating innovative ways to approach dispute resolution. No mediation has to be exactly the same as any other. Wes believes in putting parties together, when prudent, (and it often is) to really talk through their conflicts and determine what are the key issues to resolve in the litigation and what are the parties’ most critical interests that need to be addressed.
Wes has not embarked on mediation work to shy away from the conflict of litigation. Rather, he thrives on being immersed in conflicts so that settlement can be explored and reached. Talented mediators thrive on confronting the conflict and working with the parties to find a resolution. To do that, conflict must be embraced as a facet of life that can actually empower us forward.
Engagement in the Conflict Resolution Process
Civil litigation disputes, whether they involve property, employment, or other important facets of life that create significant emotional investment, tend to share a common trait: litigants spend money they rarely recoup. As such, mediation provides the opportunity to stop the bleeding and find a resolution that permanently resolves the matter. However, parties have to come to the table with a true commitment to move beyond the dispute. Wes believes that collaboration is critical to the mediation process and moving forward. Toward that end and being tired of settlement conferences and shuttled diplomacy, Wes believes in parties engaging with one another during mediation. The amount of that interaction differs in every case. However, parties cannot really get their interests met without engaging in a dialogue. Too often, mediators are afraid to allow the parties to hash out their differences. Wes believes it is essential to engage in the conflict in order to resolve it. That engagement offers parties the chance to truly be part of the solution, and that is empowering.
Empowerment from the Conflict
When litigants make a commitment to truly work through the key components of their dispute, it can ironically be empowering. At the end of the day, most litigants want to be heard by the other side. When asked to confront the dispute, and be part of the process of finding a resolution, the parties to a dispute become the problem solvers. The mediator simply facilitates and navigates toward resolution based on seeing the opportunities to bridge the gap between the parties. When people solve their legal disputes by rolling up their sleeves, discussing the merits of each side’s case, and then collaborating on the key terms of the resolution, they come away knowing their own efforts actually ended the dispute. People do not have to necessarily walk away from a settlement unhappy. If they advocate for themselves during the process, are heard, and are intrinsically involved in the resolution process, they can actually walk away satisfied from the experience and liberated that the conflict is out of their lives.
To Resolve A Dispute is to Move Forward
Successful mediations focus on a lot more than numbers. They focus on the realities, pitfalls, and potential consequences of the litigation (such as a cost-benefit-analysis that reveals a very week upside to litigating). They focus on where the case will go, the risks of not settling, and the benefits of settling now. If you select Wes as your mediator, he will use his leadership skills and litigation experience to navigate you through the conflict toward resolution. He will ask you to commit to giving your best effort to settling the case and envisioning what life looks like with the matter fully resolved. After all, conflict can hold us up, and moving forward is what we all desire.
Mr. Wollenweber also offers facilitation services for community disputes, where often he works with a community, through its board of directors and specially appointed communities, to develop a particular strategy and plan to resolve a community dispute. Mr. Wollenweber has worked with multiple parties/stakeholders in community disputes concerning land use, objectionable structures, blocked views, and urban development. These types of disputes require intense collaboration and problem solving.
Mr. Wollenweber also offers arbitration of HOA disputes, which is catching the attention of cost conscious litigators who understand the value quickly going to arbitration on disputes that do not require extensive discovery. With over sixteen years of litigation experience, and many trials, Wes is efficient in honing in on the bona fide and key issues to the dispute and deciding the case on those meritorious points.
Wes’s dispute resolution mission is simple: he embraces the parties’ conflict so that he can help empower them to reveal their true interests in the dispute, find common ground and end the conflict.