What is mediation?

Mediation is a process in which parties to a conflict voluntarily participate in a joint effort to reach a settlement. A neutral third party, the mediator, facilitates the communication between the parties, addresses the barriers to resolution and helps fashion a settlement to which all the parties can agree.

How does mediation differ from arbitration?

In mediation the parties have more control of their destiny. Mediators are process experts, not decision-makers. A mediator will help parties to reach agreement, but cannot impose or dictate a settlement.

When do I need mediation?

Mediation may be used in any dispute at any time during the dispute except where the disputants want a third person to render a binding decision to establish a principle.

What are the benefits of mediation?

Mediation works. Reports indicate that 80% of the matters submitted to voluntary mediation are resolved. Mediation values the self-determination of the disputants concerning the nature process, the issues, the mediator, the schedule and the outcome. Mediation can preserve relationships. Mediation is less expensive than litigation or administrative proceedings. Mediation allows for creative solutions that are not bounded by the immediate issues. The dispute may be kept private.

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