What is Mediation - Just the Facts
Often I’m asked what is Mediation and why is it better. The short answer is Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (also known as ADR or Conflict Resolution) that is an alternative to the traditional, adversarial/litigation process.
Mediation is an Informal Process.
A neutral third party (mediator) assists the opposing parties to reach a voluntary, negotiated resolution of a dispute. The decision to mediate is completely voluntary for the parties involved.
Mediation provides the parties an opportunity to discuss the issues, to discover and clear up any misunderstandings, determine the underlying interests or concerns, find areas of agreement and ultimately, to incorporate those areas of agreement into resolutions of settlement.
A Mediator does not impose a decision on the parties, but instead helps the parties agree on a mutually acceptable resolution. The mediation process is strictly confidential, and information disclosed during the mediation will not be revealed to anyone. A Mediator need not be a lawyer, and in some cases non-lawyer Mediators are better educated in mediation than their legal counterparts.
Advantages of Mediation:
Fair and Neutral:
Parties have an equal say in the process and decide settlement terms, not the Mediator. There is no determination of guilt or innocence in the process.
Easier on the Nerves:
Because Mediation is less formal or adversarial, mediation is far less stressful than litigation.
Saves Time and Money:
Because Mediation is less complicated than the litigation process, mediation is quicker and with far less associated costs.
All parties agree to a confidentiality agreement so information disclosed during Mediation will not be revealed to anyone.
Avoids Costly Litigation:
Lengthy litigation CAN be avoided and avoids the uncertainty of judicial outcome.
Mediation fosters a collaborative, problem-solving approach to disputes and avoids the polarizing effects of litigation. After Mediation the parties can continue normally in a positive relationship without the lingering negative affects that usually results from other adversarial processes.
Mediation provides a neutral and confidential setting where both parties can openly discuss their views on the underlying dispute. Mediators are trained in communicative techniques and skills, and enhanced communication leads to mutually satisfactory resolutions.
Discover the Real Issues in a Dispute:
Because the parties share information, this can lead to a better understanding of the ALL issues.
Design your own Solution:
A Mediator is a neutral third party that is fully trained and skilled in various techniques for assisting the parties in reaching a voluntary, mutually beneficial resolution.
More than just legal Issues:
Mediation restores relationships and can resolve ALL issues important to the parties, not just the underlying legal dispute.
Independent surveys show that up to 96% of all those who have used Mediation would use it again.