In mediation, a neutral person, the mediator, meets with the people involved in the situation. They are brought together to listen to each other and to find common goals. Each person has a chance to speak, to be heard, and to hear each other. The goal is for the parties to create their own solution to resolve the conflict.
Mediation is confidential and protects your privacy. The mediator cannot discuss what happens except in very limited circumstances. What is said in a session generally cannot be used in court. The mediator will talk to you about confidentiality and the exceptions at the start of the process.
It lets your voice be heard. It also helps you understand the other person’s perspective and helps them understand yours. You can express your needs openly and honestly. Through mediation, you will work together to find a solution to the conflict.
You are in control of both the process and the results. You choose what is agreeable. You can end the mediation at any time. You will work to find a resolution that meets your needs and those of the other person. If at the end of the process, you do not reach an agreement, you don’t lose your rights. You can still have the matter decided in court.
Mediation sessions are private. Unlike a trial, sessions are not open to the public and are not recorded. While most mediation sessions occur in person, participants, in some situations like during COVID can meet with a mediator through video conference.
Mediation can be less stressful, faster, and cheaper than having your case decided by a court. Mediation takes a few hours versus weeks and months and, therefore, much less expensive.
The mediator manages the process in an impartial way. They will help you talk about the issues, focus on what is important to you, and guide discussions so you can better understand the other person’s perspective. They will also assist you in discussing difficult topics so that you and the other person can develop your own solution.
Mediators will not give advice or tell you what to do. They will not take sides or make judgments about who is right and who is wrong. Mediators do not recommend the terms of an agreement. That is up to you and the other person. They also will not push you into settling your case.
Mediators will help you document the results. At the end of mediation all parties will know what was agreed.
Mediation is time efficient. Sessions are usually 2 to 4 hours in length. Often agreement can be reached in that timeframe. Additional sessions can be arranged if all parties agree.
Mediators charge by the hour. The is usually a minimum of two hours. If the Court requests you to attend mediation the fee is split evenly between both parties. The hourly rate runs between $200 and $275 per hour for Court assigned cases . The fee is specified in the Court Order. Private mediation is billed at $250 per hour. A minimum deposit of 2 hours is required prior to mediation.
Mediation often involves legal matters and mediators never provide legal advice. Therefore, attorneys can play an important role. That being said, mediation puts the parties in control of the outcome. This is best accomplished when the parties themselves express their views and understand the views of others. Better outcomes involve the active participation of the parties. There may be instances, however, when an attorney may be asked to speak on the behalf of a party