Mid Shore Community Mediation Center has welcomed Owen Lyons to its Board of Directors. A former Wall Street trader with Neuberger Berman, Lyons became involved with mediation after retiring.
Lyons admits to being passionate about mediation. “I firmly believe that taking a dispute to the legal system should be the last resort, not the first choice in trying to resolve a conflict,” he said.
While he is trained and participates in other types of mediation, after personal experience going through two divorces, he chooses to focus on divorce mediation in his volunteer efforts for the Center. Now happily remarried, he also receives a great deal of satisfaction from his role as a mediator.
“This is a tremendous resource for any type of dispute,” he said enthusiastically. “When it works, it’s a beautiful thing. It is such a better way of handling problems, with resolutions worked out by those involved in the conflict, rather than the courts.”
Lyons is involved in helping the Mediation Center take the service directly to the courts inCaroline County. There, Family Court judges may refer disputes to on-site mediators so that parties may try working out their own solutions the same day, without leaving the courthouse.
Even these brief, impromptu mediation sessions often result in preliminary agreements that eliminate the necessity of courtroom litigation and costs. The Mediation Center also participates in day-of-trial mediations in Dorchester County.
In his role as a Mediation Center board member, Lyons hopes to use his passion for mediation to help with raising funds and public awareness of the value of mediation. The nonprofit organization depends on volunteers and public donations to support its services, which are provided at no cost to participants in Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot Counties.
“I would love to be able to spread the word about mediation,” said Lyons.
“People are not yet aware of mediation as a viable option for resolving disputes,” he added. “There needs to be a shift in the culture from ‘Let’s go to court’ to ‘Let’s work this out.’ That the MediationCenter offers this option for free is incredible.”
Mid Shore Community Mediation Center is a United Fund of Talbot County agency. For more information on mediation, to make a contribution, or to volunteer as a mediator, call at 410-820-5553 or visit www.midshoremediation.org.