Mediation is a cost-effective alternative in which a neutral third-party helps parties in conflict reach a voluntary resolution to their dispute. While a mediator does not offer legal advice to either party he facilitates discussion between the parties, provides information to each and gives them options to consider in reaching settlement terms that are acceptable to both. The mediator will meet with the parties both together and separately as is necessary. Perhaps most importantly, mediation is an entirely voluntary process. In a trial, the parties can make limited presentations to the judge but ultimately have no control over matters that may have a substantial impact on their business or lives. Mediation, however, allows the parties themselves to determine the terms by which their dispute is resolved.
Mark L. Van Valkenburgh has been practicing law in Central Florida for sixteen years. He is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell and certified as a mediator for circuit court and family matters by the Florida Supreme Court and for all civil matters in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. He spent the first half of his career as a trial lawyer, litigating a wide variety of real estate and business disputes. During that time, Mr. Van Valkenburgh began focusing his practice on employment related disputes. He has won significant jury trials representing both former employees and employers. The majority of his current legal practice is in the field of human resources consulting and employment law litigation although he continues select other types of disputes for some of his clients. Mr. Van Valkenburgh also teaches the art of negotiation to students at the Barry University College of Law in his class "Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiation."

During his legal career, Mr. Van Valkenburgh has served on the Executive Board of the First Central Florida Inns of Court, was named outstanding committee chairperson by the Orange County Bar Association and was honored by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce as Leadership Winter Park's Volunteer of the Year. He currently serves on Boards for the Winter Park Public Library and Leadership Winter Park and on the Vestry at All Saints Episcopal Church.
Mr. Van Valkenburgh graduated fourth out of a law school class of one hundred seventy eight. While in school, he was named one of only two New England Scholars for two consecutive years and earned "book" awards in Business Organizations and Sales. He also served as Case and Notes Editor of the New England Law Review.

Mr. Van Valkenburgh currently mediates all types of business, real estate and employment disputes as well as probate
, personal injury and family law matters. Before each mediation, Mr. Van Valkenburgh always reviews the pleadings and any information submitted by the parties and conducts any research necessary to be sure that he is fully informed about the parties, the nature of their dispute and the law that will govern the case at trial. He excels at dealing with highly emotional individuals and establishing excellent rapport with all parties. This rapport allows him to firmly challenge the parties' legal positions, factual contentions and expectations for outcomes outside of the mediation process thereby moving them toward a resolution of their dispute.