What is Mediation?
Mediation is a confidential conflict resolution process in which a neutral person facilitates communication between participants in order to create a mutually acceptable settlement. There are no formal court rules, although careful preparation and organization are crucial to a successful mediation outcome. Unlike a judge, the mediator has no authority to make a decision or force the parties to accept a settlement. Yet in the majority of cases, the training and ability of a professional mediator can help achieve a final settlement of the matter which would not otherwise be possible.
What are the benefits of mediation?
Mediation allows you to maintain control over the outcome. Mediation differs from litigation because the mediator does not make a decision or force anyone to accept a settlement. When you agree to mediate a dispute, you agree to attend the mediation session and participate in a good faith effort to settle the matter. So, you are always in control of the outcome.
Mediation saves time. You don’t have to wait for a court hearing and can get settlement discussions moving in the right direction on your schedule.
Mediation saves money. An early settlement saves litigation expenses and other costs related to managing the dispute.
Mediation can help solve disputes that are not suitable for litigation. You don’t have to be involved in a court proceeding to take advantage of mediation. Whether there is conflict between neighbors, employees or family members, mediation can help improve relationships, even if the conflict is not one that courts can solve.
Mediation can improve long-standing relationships. Mediation is especially helpful to resolve differences between people who will continue to be involved with one another even after one particular disagreement is resolved. Former spouses will have to continue to interact so long as the children need care. Workers will continue to create a work atmosphere, even once a particular dispute is resolved. Mediation can help improve the family or work dynamics by helping individuals understand each other better.
What takes place at the mediation session?
All parties to a dispute meet at the first mediation session. Each party is given the opportunity to explain his or her concerns. The mediator helps the parties create an agenda for discussion. The mediator will help the parties decide how to proceed. Sometimes, the parties continue the conversation as one group, addressing each of the issues raised. At times, the mediator may meet with each party individually. Either way, the mediator continues to move the conversation forward at the parties’ pace and in a manner that works for that particular situation. When the parties reach consensus, the mediator drafts a memorandum of understanding, which can be translated into an order of a court, or a contract between the parties.
What types of disputes can The Warren Firm Resolve through mediation?
The situations best suited for mediation are those where the parties are motivated to reach agreement and willingly engage in the process. Whether the dispute is over how to interpret a contract, who should have custody of a child, or whether grown children disagree about where their aging mother should live, if the parties are willing to take the time to engage in the process and listen in new ways to each other, mediation works well. Below are some examples of situations that lend themselves to mediation: