Mediation is a process whereby disputing parties come to an agreement in which they compromise on disputed matters. It is often used in place of a trial or arbitration. It is a voluntary process, but sometimes courts order that the parties go to mediation in order to try and settle their dispute rather than have a judge or jury decide it for them.
The process of mediation is guided by a neutral third party called a mediator. The mediator is trained to help the parties in a dispute communicate with each other and work toward resolution. The mediator does not make any decisions for the parties, but instead helps them to discuss and find solutions that will meet both sides’ needs. The mediator also helps the parties to explore options for settlement that might not have been available to them if they went to court.
Unlike litigation or arbitration, the process of mediation is private and confidential. Therefore, the results of a mediation cannot be used in any adversarial administrative or judicial proceeding. The parties may, however, decide to use the outcome of a mediation as the basis for a legal agreement.
The process of mediating a dispute can be less expensive than going to court, and it is typically faster. It is also more flexible than trial or arbitration, allowing the parties to customize their solution and meet their specific needs. The parties in a mediation are more likely to reach an agreement than the parties in a trial or arbitration.
Emotions often play a role in disputes and can make communication difficult. The mediator can help to ease the way for communicating with the other person or party in the dispute and may be able to help the parties find new ways of thinking about the problem which can lead to a possible solution.
In preparation for mediation, the participants should carefully consider what is most important to them and how their dispute relates to their broader interests. Participants should also consider whether they are willing to be open to possibilities which may not have been on the table in their own case. It is not unusual for mediation to result in a resolution that is not exactly what the participants expected in advance.
The mediation process can be very helpful in working out a dispute without damaging the relationship between the parties. The dispute resolution method is not appropriate for every dispute, however, and each person should speak to their lawyer about whether they think it would be useful in their particular case. The lawyer can also assist with finding a mediator and arranging the mediation. Mediation services are offered for free or at reduced fees by many courts and community organizations. To find a mediator, contact the courthouse where you have your case or your local conflict resolution center. what is mediation