Mediation Center

Fish Nelson & Holden introduces its new Mediation Center, offering mediation services throughout Birmingham and the State of Alabama. Catering to both individuals and corporations, the Fish Nelson & Holden Mediation Center is available to assist opposing parties reach a workable resolution to their dispute in a cost-effective manner.

Founding partner, Mary Stewart Nelson, is a member of the Alabama State Court Mediation Roster published by the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution, and is also a member of the Appellate Mediation Roster sponsored by the Alabama Appellate Mediation Program. Mary Stewart frequently volunteers with the Jefferson County Mediation Project, offering free mediation services to pro se litigants. Having served as General Counsel for companies in a broad array of industries, Mary Stewart is available to mediate disputes in a variety of areas:

  • Business & Corporate Law
  • Contracts
  • Management
  • Insurance
  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Appellate Matters
  • Torts/Negligence
  • Civil Litigation
  • Human Resources
  • General Practice

The Fish Nelson & Holden Mediation Center places a priority on customer service, quality legal expertise, and affordability to our clients. Our centrally located office in Birmingham, Alabama features facilities that cater to privacy and confidentiality ideal for mediations. Contact Mary Stewart at or more information regarding the Fish Nelson & Holden Mediation Center, hourly rates, and scheduling information.

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution wherein opposing parties come together and meet with a neutral third party (the mediator) in an effort to reach a mutually agreeable settlement to the dispute. During a mediation, the mediator will meet with both parties privately in a confidential setting to discuss each party’s position, and with this knowledge, the mediator will assist the parties to propose and negotiate a practical resolution that is beneficial to all parties involved.

What Are The Benefits of Mediation?


Mediation is considered an extremely cost-effective way to resolve disputes among opposing parties, as compared to going to trial. Unlike going to trial, mediation requires much less time spent by your attorney in preparation. Furthermore, mediation avoids the costs associated with court reporters, elaborate exhibits, and court costs.


Parties often prefer mediation over going to trial or arbitration because neither party is required to enter into a settlement agreement if the proposed resolution is not agreeable to both parties. In contrast, by going to trial or arbitration, both parties must submit to the resolution decided upon by the judge, jury, or arbitrator, regardless of whether both parties are happy with that solution and whether that solution best serves the practical interests of the parties. A mediator’s goal is to encourage the parties to reach a workable solution that is mutually agreeable to both parties.


Sometimes it takes months, even years, to get to trial! Mediation can help speed the process up by avoiding the delay of the court system. Mediation can occur at any time during a lawsuit, even before the lawsuit is ever filed. By choosing mediation, parties can reach a practical, mutually agreeable resolution to their dispute in a timely manner, eliminating the delay and expense of continued subsequent litigation.


Parties are more likely to comply with and adhere to the terms of a resolution of a dispute if the parties were actively involved in the negotiation and consented to the resolution. Conversely, parties tend to be less willing to comply with a resolution to the dispute if the resolution were decided by a third party without the party’s consent. Mediation gives each party the power to negotiate and consent to a mutually agreeable solution that they are willing and able to adhere to.

Is Mediation Available After Trial?

Yes! If your lawsuit has already gone to trial and is currently on appeal before the Alabama Supreme Court or the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals, the opposing parties can still agree to submit their dispute to voluntary mediation. Alternatively, your case may be selected by the Alabama Appellate Mediation Program to go to mediation. If your case is selected for mediation, the parties may mutually agree to use a specific mediator or, if the parties cannot agree, a mediator is selected by the Alabama Appellate Mediation Program. Mediating your case even though it is on appeal has the same benefits as if your case had been mediated prior to appeal, in that mediation costs less than pursuing an appeal, mediation takes less time than meandering through the appellate process, mediation is non-binding, and mediation is more likely to yield a workable solution that the parties will stick to.


No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services to be performed by other lawyers.

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