Does mediation work?

  • Yes! Mediation is an opportunity for people to meet in a safe environment with an impartial third party.
  • People are able to discuss and negotiate their own solution to the conflict.
  • Sometimes there is only a partial resolution, but that is still a success.
  • It saves the additional time and expense involved in a court proceeding.
  • Parties remain in control of the outcome. The mediator does not decide the outcome, but rather assists parties in reaching their own agreement in a manner that best meets their needs.

What is the difference between mediation and arbitration?

A mediator is an impartial third party with no authority to render a decision. A mediator does not take sides, impose decisions or give legal advice. The parties themselves make decisions about the solution to their conflict, with the mediator's help. The parties are in control of the outcome.

An arbitrator listens to each party’s interests, reviews their supporting evidence and makes a decision as to the outcome.

What should I expect before the mediation?

  • We will ask some questions regarding the conflict.
  • We will confirm mediation is appropriate.
  • We will ask for contact information (name, phone, address, email) for all parties.
  • We will contact the other party and invite them to mediation

What happens at a mediation session?

  • The mediator will control the discussion to be sure it stays on topic and safe.
  • Depending on the nature of the conflict, the parties may start out in a joint meeting, or might start in separate private rooms.
  • The mediator will make an opening statement, outlining the plan for the session.
  • Each party will make a short statement of their position in the conflict.
  • There will be an agreement about what conflict(s) will be negotiated.
  • The mediator will meet with each party in private to discuss confidentially that party’s position and possible solutions.
  • The mediator will move between the two rooms, communicating only that information that the mediator has been told to communicate. Everything else will remain confidential.
  • If an agreement is reached, the mediator will write a Mediated Settlement Agreement.
  • If there is no agreement, or only an agreement on some of the points, that will be documented as well.
  • All parties will sign the agreement.
  • The Mediated Settlement Agreement is enforceable as a contract between the parties.
  • At any point during the mediation, the mediator can "call," or end the mediation if the mediator deems it appropriate.
  • Only the mediator may dismiss the mediation.

Do I need a lawyer?

  • An attorney is not required.
  • The mediator or arbitrator will not offer legal advice.
  • To protect your interests it is advisable to consult with an attorney.
  • Attorney fees often tend to be much less for mediation than for a lengthy court proceeding.
  • You can bring an attorney to mediation.

What disputes can be mediated?

  • Landlord - Tenant disputes
  • Homeowner - Repairman complaints
  • Neighborhood disagreements
  • Employer - Employee conflicts
  • Child support or visitation modifications
  • Sibling disagreements over elder care
  • Contractual defaults
  • Intellectual property disputes

Is mediation voluntary?

Mediation is a voluntary process. Many judges will order people to attempt mediation because it is often successful and takes some of the burden off the court system. If you have been ordered to mediate, you are required to show up to the session and put forth a good faith effort. You are NOT required to come to a resolution.

The acting mediator’s or arbitrator's role is as a neutral intermediary and thus your mediator/arbitrator is not acting and cannot act as an advocate for either or any parties involved in this dispute. Prior to, during or after any mediation/arbitration process the parties acknowledge being thoroughly advised by the mediator/arbitrator to obtain legal advice and review of any agreement before signing it. --- Copyright © 2017 Arbitration and Mediation Services