Mediation is different from court. The mediator is not going to tell you if someone is right or wrong. I am not going to tell you what you deserve or how you should resolve this matter. You get to decide!
The mediator will facilitate discussions between or among the parties with the intent to create an agreement that resolves as much of the dispute as possible. Ideally, that will be all of it, including some of the intangibles like fear and lack of trust.
We might talk more about your experiences, perceptions, wants, and needs than you expected. The facts are important, and we’ll include them, but our focus will be on the future more than the past. Why? Because we can’t change the past.
Mediation is a voluntary process, and it has a high success rate. But if we can’t reach a resolution through this mediation, rest assured. What we discuss in the mediation is confidential. It’s not going to automatically become evidence in a legal proceeding. That, of course, is not an invitation for the parties to treat each other or anyone in the mediation poorly. We come together to see if we can resolve the dispute by agreement—an enforceable agreement.
Key Benefits of Mediation, Compared to Litigation
- Confidentiality – You can try mediation with minimal risk because you can’t use what we discuss as evidence at trial.
- Cost Savings (time, money, and energy) – With me, you’ll pay approximately $1,200.00 for a full-day mediation. If you choose to litigate, even settled cases can rack up fees of $10,000.00 or more.
- Empowerment – The parties get to control much of the process and the outcome.
Scheduling the Mediation
Once you and the other parties involved in the dispute decide to mediate, contact me to schedule a mutually agreeable date and time. If you’re having difficulty getting one of the parties to agree to mediate, have them schedule a call with me. You can also schedule a call to discuss whether your case is appropriate for mediation.
- I ask that you treat each other with respect and err on the side of courtesy.
- Don’t talk over each other, and don’t interrupt.
- Allow people to share, even if you disagree. You will get your chances to share, too.
The Mediator’s Role
As I mentioned above, I am not a judge. My role is neutral and facilitative. You need not convince or persuade me of anything.
The Mediation Process
First, I will remind you who I am and why I am confident that all of us can come to a resolution.
Second, you and each party to the dispute will briefly summarize the dispute(s). It is often helpful to start with a simple statement of disagreement, such as [Party] and I disagree about [Issue #1]. Again, we want to focus less on the past and more on the now and the future. Keep it succinct.
Third, we will discuss each dispute and the possible solutions. Sometimes, we will do this in the same room (joint session). At other times, we might decide it is best to have private sessions, where I will talk with each party confidentially. The goal of those private sessions is to help you get unstuck or back on track. I won’t share what you tell me unless you give me permission, so speak freely with me.
If You Reach an Agreement
If you reach an agreement during the mediation, we will outline the terms, but the contract will remain non-binding until you formalize it. It will still be enforceable once fully executed, but it’s a little different from a judgment. You can still enforce it in court, but it’s not as automatic as a judgment. You might have to bring a breach of contract action. That’s also why we give you an opportunity to review the agreement with your attorneys if they don’t accompany you to the mediation.
If You Do Not Reach an Agreement
If you don’t reach agreement or only reach a partial agreement, you can pursue your claim(s) in any judicial forum where the statute of limitations has not expired. What we discussed will remain confidential.