What is mediation?
Mediation is a process in which two or more parties involved in a dispute work with a neutral party, the mediator, to achieve a mutually agreeable solution to their conflict. The mediation process is informal, voluntary and confidential. Unlike trial or arbitration, the mediator does not render a decision by picking the “winner”, rather he assists the disputants in finding a solution that works for all parties.
Mediation has many advantages over litigation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.
- Mediation leaves the most critical part of the dispute — determining its outcome — in the hands of the parties themselves.
- Mediation is confidential. There is no public disclosure of personal problems or finances.
- Mediation is less expensive than litigation and other forms of dispute resolution.
- Mediation is a significantly faster process than litigation and other forms of dispute resolution.
- Mediation does not preclude the parties from pursuing alternative means of resolving their dispute. If the parties cannot reach an amicable settlement, they are free to proceed with court proceedings.
What happens at the mediation?
At the mediation, the mediator meets with the parties and provides them with the opportunity to be heard and express the circumstances surrounding the dispute. The mediator then shuttles back and forth between the parties and facilitates a discussion geared towards resolving the dispute. Once the parties reach an acceptable resolution, they typically document the terms of the settlement in a written agreement.
How long does mediation take?
There are many variables in determining the length of a mediation session. These include the nature of the dispute, the number of parties and the communication level of the disputants. A simple dispute involving two parties can be resolved in as little as a few hours while more complex matters can take days.
How much does mediation cost?
Mediation is billed hourly and the costs are typically split evenly by the parties.