What is Mediation?

Mediation is a voluntary, cooperative, and confidential  process through which  a mediator helps people clearly define issues and communicate respectfully so that a equitable solution can be formed. In mediation parties explore possible solutions and create written agreements. These agreements may serve as the basis for a settlement in a court case.


What to Expect.... 

 Prior to Mediation:

Since either party  may hear of us first, it it is not uncommon for one person to contact us  to learn more about mediation. It is important that the mediator remain neutral throughout the process. For that reason, initial phone contact will be limited to basic information about the services offered. We gladly offer a free consultation , with all parties present, to discuss your situation, answer questions and educate you about the process.  

Following that consultation you are able to set a mediation date and time.



AGREEMENTS:

A basic understanding in  mediation is that all parties  participate in good faith:proceeding honestly and confidentially with the  intention to resolve their dispute in a non adversarial manner. If either party has an attitude of wanting to “win” or to “hurt” the other person it is difficult for mediation to be successful.

The mediation may occur in one session  or in multiple sessions.

When parties have agreed upon resolution of  issues, a document will be prepared which outlines the agreed upon terms. The agreement is concise with measurable dates, times and expectation. It is intended to finalize all issues and define a clear plan for enacting the resolution of the issues. All parties, including attorneys if present, sign the agreement. Parties may choose to make the agreement binding and irrevocable. In cases where legal action is pending, an attorney will file the agreement and all necessary paperwork in compliance with the agreement reached in mediation.

 At Mediation:

The mediator, in an impartial role, will help the parties define the issues, and aid  the the parties in finding mutual agreements. The mediator’s job is to keep the parties conversing about the issues and help them move toward agreements. Throughout the conversation, the mediator may propose various settlement options and help the parties to brainstorm options. 

Mediation is a confidential process. Nothing discussed in the confines of a mediation can be used in a court proceeding.


During the Mediation parties can meet together with the mediator or individually. Some parties may wish to sit together at a table with the mediator, while others may prefer to be in different rooms and have the mediator move between the parties, acting as a liaison between the parties.

Although many mediators are attorneys, a mediator may not give legal advice during the mediation. It is a benefit to the parties to have a mediator who is highly familiar with the legal system.