Mediation is a private conflict resolution process in which the parties in dispute try to resolve the issues by agreement.
Parties? I’m In!
In law, we refer to the people and entities in a case as the “parties”. But we’re not getting a caterer, and there’s no open bar. We use the term parties because it’s more inclusive than “people”. Many parties in lawsuits are businesses, corporations, employers, not-for-profit organizations, or other associations.
When Can You Go to Mediation?
You might choose mediation before a claim or lawsuit has been filed. This is especially true if you want to maintain, or even improve, your relationship with the other party.
You might propose mediation to a supervisor or co-worker you are having a hard time working with. Mediation could be effective with a business partner whose commitment seems to have changed. Maybe it’s a vendor who has suddenly ghosted you or a normally chatty client who went silent after you sent an invoice. Mediation is a highly effective process for avoiding court, and you know how I feel about court.
Okay. No Keg. So, What Does Happen in Mediation?
In mediation, a neutral person like me facilitates conversations that uncover the beliefs, wants, and needs of the individuals and organizations involved. We also talk about unmet expectations. Often, those expectations were not expressed, which made it very hard for them to be met. Once this comes to light, we can create a plan to change that.
Will I Have to Be in the Same Room with the Other Person?
Not necessarily. I prefer keeping you in the same room when you are going to be in the same spaces going forward, but we also adapt to what is going on at each moment. Sometimes we will touch on a highly sensitive topic that requires a break. At other times, you might want to discuss that topic privately with me, so it comes out more effectively with the other parties. It’s also possible that I will suggest private meetings to get more information or clarify issues.
Unlike in court, there are few formalities. We adjust the process to meet your needs and create the best outcome under the circumstances.
Common conflicts I resolve through mediation include:
- Employment discrimination
- Sexual harassment
- Work distribution or performance
(Updated from April 27, 2020)
DISCLAIMER: This page and website contain attorney advertising and a general overview of conflicts we sometimes resolve. It is not legal advice. If you require information or advice applied to your unique situation, please make an appointment to discuss it with an attorney experienced with the subject matter. Don’t rely solely on what you read on the Internet. Ever.