Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in which a trained, impartial mediator helps two or more parties find a mutually acceptable solution to their dispute.
Fair and Impartial
Parties have an equal say during mediation and have a say in the final agreement. The mediator has no authority to impose a settlement without an agreement of the Parties. During mediation both sides will be able to exchange information, express opinions and expectations and propose their own solutions for reaching resolution. The mediator will facilitate this process by helping the parties communicate to each other clearly and appropriately.
Save Money and Time
Litigation is expensive, time consuming, and emotionally draining. Many mediated settlements, on the other hand, are completed in one meeting, often saving considerable time and expense. More complicated matters may necessitate multiple sessions before an agreement is reached. Legal or other representation is permitted in all cases, but is not required.
Mediation can result in a binding agreement to both parties. If an agreement is not reached, a lawsuit may then be filed. Or, if already in litigation, the case may revert back to the court.
Mediations are confidential. Confidential information provided to the mediator by parties during the mediation process cannot be divulged by the mediator. Also, the parties’ settlement discussions cannot be used as evidence in any future court proceeding.
Engaging in a mediation process with the help of a professional mediator can result in an outcome that provides relief in the present situation and hope for a better relationship going forward. It allows the Parties to draw up long term solutions themselves and not be subject to the discretion of a judge, jury or panal.
Mediation can be court ordered or sought voluntarily by parties involved in conflict. The mediator involves the parties in a process to:
- clarify issues in dispute,
- develop options for resolution, and
- create a plan to implement the agreed upon solutions.