What is Mediation?

  • An informal process where impartial mediators help people resolve a conflict
  • Mediators facilitate, or guide, the conversation
  • Parties talk about what is important to them in a safe setting
  • A private and confidential process
  • An opportunity to explore options not considered in the past
  • A chance to develop realistic, workable solutions
  • Clients control the outcome - reaching an agreement is voluntary

Who should use mediation? 
Mediation is an excellent choice for clients who wish to have a say in the outcome of the conflict. Typical cases we hear involve:

  • Divorce cases
  • Modifying Parent Plans
  • Neighborhood conflicts
  • Commercial disputes
  • Landlord and tenant disputes
  • Workplace conflicts
  • Contract negotiations
  • Large group facilitations
  • Communication agreements

Mediation Process
Mediation is a negotiation where an impartial, third party (mediators) acts as facilitators of the conversation. They are not advocates, judges, or experts in legal matters.  Mediation is an opportunity for you to have the greatest control of the outcome in the negotiation. The following steps occur in a mediation session.

  • Mediators' Opening Statement: Review the process, rules and roles.
  • Client Opening Statements: Each party briefly explains, without interruption, the situation from their perspective and share ideas of what they would like to see happen.
  • Client Responses: After client opening statements, each party is given the opportunity to respond to one another and understand one another more clearly.
  • Agenda: The parties develop a list of issues they both agree to talk about.
  • Exploration/Negotiations: Parties work with one another to develop solutions to the issues on the agenda.  
  • Caucus: Mediators may hold private, confidential meetings separately with each party. Either party, or even mediators, may also request a caucus during the session.
  • Settlement: A settlement agreement may be written to memorialize the decisions made in mediation. In your words mediators will draft the agreement, and it is signed by all parties. Written agreements may be filed with the court as legally binding contracts. It is advisable to have attorneys review agreements.

In mediation, clients control the outcome of the mediation session. Settlements made in a mediation setting are agreements that are satisfactory to all parties. No one should sign an agreement that is not satisfactory to them.