Mediation gives the parties in a dispute the opportunity to try and resolve matters on their own terms. When matters are not resolved and require a trial, the ability to control the outcome is gone. Additionally, ongoing disputes take a heavy emotional, physical and financial toll on the people involved.
Disputes arise in every aspect of our lives. Frequently disputes are caused by misunderstanding rather than the desire to cause harm to another person. In other cases someone has been injured and wants to be compensated for their injuries.
Mediation affords the parties the opportunity to explain their feelings, pain or position in a comfortable, thoughtful environment. With guidance from the mediator, solutions can be explored to resolve the dispute and allow the parties to return to their lives with one less burden hanging over their heads.
In mediation, the solution to the dispute is crafted by the parties. This allows each party the opportunity to address the matters they find most important. Finally, mediation is confidential. Neither party may use the mediation negotiations against the other should it ultimately go to trial.
It is very important to understand that mediators are not allowed to give legal advice. Therefore, it is important to come to mediation prepared. Frequently this means having consulted with an attorney prior to mediation. It also means doing your homework before you arrive, such as preparing financials, obtaining valuations, or consulting with any necessary experts.
Upon arrival at mediation, introductions will be made, a confidentiality agreement will be reviewed and signed, and ground rules for the mediation will be discussed. Depending on the situation, parties may be separated, or it may be beneficial to remain together. During mediation everyone will be expected to remain polite, the issues will be identified, and together we will work through the issues reaching agreements where ever possible. At the conclusion of the mediation a memorandum of understanding will be prepared, either that day of shortly thereafter, documenting the agreements reached. All parties will review the memorandum for accuracy and then sign the memorandum. Each party will receive a copy of the memorandum so that it may be used to prepare any court documents. With the mediation completed, you will be able to move ahead knowing you were part of the resolution.