What Is Mediation?

Mediation is — a process in which individuals work with a neutral party (called mediators) to reach a mutually agreeable and workable solution to their issue or dispute.

Why should I mediate? Mediation offers the most options for settling an issue. It can be arranged in weeks, as opposed to months or years for litigation. It is far less costly than litigation, and you have control of the process and the outcome. Mediation is a process that rebuilds relationships instead of polarizing them.

Is mediation binding? A mediation agreement, in essence, is an agreement between the parties defining how the dispute will be settled. If the parties so choose, the mediated agreement has the same force as a contract between the parties and can be held enforceable.

Is the process confidential? Information and discussions in mediation are highly confidential. A Mediator cannot be called to give any information provided by the parties in a court hearing. All matters discussed in mediation are strictly between the parties involved.

Who are mediators? Mediators are people from varied backgrounds who are specially trained and certified to work with conflict resolution issues. Their role is to remain neutral and promote potential settlement options for consideration by the parties. The mediator’s role is to help the parties reach settlement of their issue through reasoned discussion and exploration of solutions to the issue.

Do I have to resolve the issue in mediation? The goal of mediation is to provide an environment conducive to settlement of the issue. Either party may terminate the mediation at any time in the process. Mediation in no way interferes with your ability or right to pursue other options, including arbitration or legal action.

How is mediation beneficial to me? In any formal proceeding, whether court or arbitration, the issue is decided for one party and against the other. Mediation provides a method for the parties to structure a settlement that is acceptable to both. Mediated settlements are more likely to be followed by the parties, since they are involved in the terms of settlement.

Where can mediation be used? How many times have simple disagreements grown into major disputes? Mediation provides the opportunity to resolve differences quickly, effectively, and with both parties accepting the outcome.