How Mediation Works
Mediation is the process whereby a neutral third person, a mediator, acts to facilitate the resolution of a dispute between the parties. It is an informal, non-adversarial process with the objective of helping the disputing parties reach a mutually acceptable and voluntary agreement. In mediation, decision-making authority rests with the parties.
Mediation is a time and cost effective process where all information exchanged is confidential. Parties control the outcome of the mediation. The participants can be creative in formulating a resolution. Mediation provides a structured setting where the parties can hear all sides of the dispute.
The Mediation Process:
- The parties meet at a neutral location with their lawyers and a mediator.
- The parties present their positions regarding the case.
- The parties are separated and the mediator speaks with each side independently. It is in these “caucus” sessions that confidential negotiations take place, unless the mediator is authorized to disclose this information to the other side..
- This process continues with the mediator exploring alternatives and conveying demands, until there is an offer and an acceptance satisfactory to all parties.
- Once a resolution is reached, the mediator brings the parties back together to sign a settlement agreement.