What is Mediation?
Mediation is a dispute resolution process that involves the parties and a trained mediator. The mediator works as an impartial third party, to facilitate productive settlement negotiations. The mediator provides a structured process toward settling the dispute, in an environment that promotes good faith negotiations. She helps parties identify issues, generate options, and work through any communication barriers to stay focused on settlement.
The discussions or information collected during the mediation process are completely confidential. The mediator remains a neutral facilitator throughout the process and may not advocate for either party. Even if the mediator is an attorney, she may not give legal advice. When agreement is reached, the mediator prepares a draft of the settlement terms for review and editing by the parties. The mediator then drafts an agreement. The parties are advised to have the agreement reviewed by their own attorneys to ensure that their individual interests are adequately addressed.
Is Mediation right for me?
Like Collaborative Practice, Mediation requires both parties to be willing to meet face to face for open, honest, settlement focused discussions. Full disclosure and a commitment to keep the lines of communication open are critical keys to success.