I believe that I offer a qualitative choice as a lawyer or as a mediator to help a potential client explore all forms of dispute resolution, not only the traditional approach of litigation but also various forms of alternative dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration, collaborative law and traditional negotiation. I believe strongly in our American system of jurisprudence, above all others. I believe firmly that everyone should have his or her day in Court, if that is his or her choice. If it is, I am a zealous advocate for my client. However, I have always strived to be a peacemaker, even for more than 25 years as a litigator before I pursued certification as a Mediator. I have always attempted to assist my clients in resolving their legal disputes in a manner which utilized the Court system sparingly. There are those exigent circumstances where resort to a court of law must be done immediately, or at least expeditiously, and I have always tried to recognize those circumstances. There are also those cases where the situation and circumstances are simply not conducive to anything other than litigation and I have always strived to recognize those cases as well, and act accordingly on behalf of my clients. It has been my personal experience, however, in four decades of practicing law, that in the vast majority of cases, legal disputes can be resolved through alternative means such as mediation, arbitration, collaborative law or old-fashioned negotiations. Sometimes it has been necessary to file suit first and settle later, even at the "steps of the courthouse". Over the course of my legal career, I have settled far more cases than I have tried, with at least satisfactory results. To see what preeminent Western North Carolina family law attorneys and mediators say about my skills and services as a family law mediator and lawyer, visit my Testimonials Page on my website at www.dryelaw.com.
Since becoming certified as a Mediator at the beginning of this century, I have truly enjoyed being able to intersect with litigants or potential litigants earlier in the legal process, sometimes in the very embryonic stages of the conflict. I believe that I employ, as circumstances warrant, all three of the most accepted and utilized "models" of mediation, i.e., facilitative, evaluative and transformative. For more information about these different models and how a mediator uses them in a mediation process, visit my Blog Page on my website at www.dryelaw.com. I utilize my listening and observation skills, which tend to be kinesthetic, in order to be able first to empathize with each party to the dispute, gaining trust in the process, and then to help each party think critically about his or her own perspective in an effort to help that person understand what caused the dispute in the first place and to gain an appreciation for the other party's perspective. When I conduct a mediation, I view it as a time when parties come together to explain or present each's "story" as it relates to the ongoing conflict. Sometimes what is needed for resolution is financial; sometimes it involves an apology or one side hearing for the first time what the other side is saying; sometimes it involves both. The reason that mediation works, and why I believe that I have something to offer in this process, is that I try to be an impartial third party who listens with an open heart and tries to help the parties identify and explore all available options for resolution of the dispute but in a manner that is compassionate and respects the dignity, humanity, integrity and worth of each person. The mediation process provides the best environment for the validity of each party's point of view to be presented in a way that focuses on a "needs analysis" rather than traditional "position based bargaining". To see my credentials as a lawyer and mediator, visit my About Drye Page on my website at www.dryelaw.com.