WHAT IS MEDIATION?
Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution, In mediation, a neutral third party will assist the parties involved in a dispute to resolve their conflict using specialized communication and negotiation techniques. Mediation can be used in customer disputes, contract disputes, tenant-landlord disputes, family disputes and neighborhood disputes. The goal of the mediation meeting is to reach a settlement agreement that is acceptable to both parties.
Mediation is a voluntary process and can only take place if both parties are willing and agree. The parties are free to leave at any time and for any reason.
Mediation is a confidential process. Any discussion and any materials that are prepared for a mediation are generally not admissible in any subsequent court proceedings, except for the final signed mediated agreement.
- Mediation give the participants control in the outcome of the dispute. The parties retain the decision-making.
- The parties involved in the mediation are encouraged to have legal counsel review any mediated agreement involving legal issues prior to signing. But that decision belongs to the mediation participant.
- Mediation is generally less expensive then litigation.
- Due to having control, the parties involved are more likely to be satisfied with the results of the mediation and are more likely to follow through with the agreement.
- The mediated agreement can be written to fit the the needs of the parties involved.
- The parties involved have more control over the outcome of their dispute. The parties are not relying on the decision of a judge or jury.
- Possibility of preserving the relationship or making the termination of the relationship more amicable.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE MEDIATOR?
The role of the mediator is to assist each party fairly and equally. The mediator cannot show favor to the interest of one party over another. The mediator’s role is to facilitate the communication between the parties involved and to assist the parties in finding possible ideas for a resolution. The mediator will serve as a sounding board and assist one or both of the parties by having them look at the practicalities of the solutions that they are proposing. The mediator must ensure that the involved parties have reached their agreement in a voluntary and informed manner and that neither party has made the agreement as a result of coercion or intimidation.