Mediation and Dispute Resolution Services

Shannon Fritts-Penniman provides mediation services for child custody and visitation cases, landlord-tenant disputes, small claims, and quarrels between neighbors.  He has mediated over 70 cases in New York State and Colorado, most recently as a county coordinator for New Justice Conflict Resolution Services, Inc. in Cortland, NY.  Currently Shannon is a member of the New York City Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee.

In New York, it’s not hard to draw out someone’s opinion on the matter at hand.  Shannon’s approach to mediation is to focus on the experience of the listener by encouraging the participants to use language that can be heard.  In other words, he asks participants to cut through the noise and get to the underlying interests in order to understand what the other person is thinking.  The meeting room becomes a confidential, safe space for the parties to express what is really on their minds.

Mediation is completely voluntary, and a participant may decide to stop the process at any time.  A participant may also decide to consider certain solutions to the problem and not others.  Shannon works to encourage creativity to the problem solving process, and asks the participants to think outside the box and consider solutions that they may have not thought of before going to mediation.  Shannon also believes in the value of partial agreements, because a partial agreement sets the stage for future communication between the participants.  Resolving the conflict after the mediation is just as good as resolving it in front of the mediator.

When considering mediation as an option for your dispute or case, there are a few questions to consider:

  • Will you have to interact with this person in the future?  Do you want to have a friendly or cordial relationship with this person in the future?
  • Do you have the time and the money to file a case in court to resolve your dispute?  How long would it take for your case to be scheduled in front of a judge?  Do you want to hire a lawyer?
  • Do you need legal advice in order to resolve your dispute?
  • Do you think the other person knows how you really feel about the issue at hand?
  • Do you want to keep the matter confidential from the media and from other people?

Mediation is confidential.  Statements made during mediation cannot be used against a party in court, and a mediator cannot be called to testify about what happened at a mediation session.  The only exception to confidentiality is an imminent threat of physical harm to an identifiable person.

If you would like to set up an appointment, please visit my contact page and submit your contact information, or call (607) 227-3851.

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