Mediation is voluntary and flexible
It empowers participants with significant control, discretion, and decision-making authority throughout the proceeding. The mediator does not issue a ruling or compel the parties to do anything. Instead, she or he helps disputants reach their own legally binding settlement agreement.
Mediation attendees agree to participate in good faith and make their best efforts to reach an understanding. The mediator works to cultivate the participants’ trust, moderate communication, identify and reframe the issues, address the obstacles to resolution, and make suggestions.
In contrast to most court hearings, mediation provides disputants a private forum with plenty of time to be heard and have their issues thoroughly considered. Unlike being represented by an attorney before a judge in court, mediation participants may interact directly, exclusively, and at length with the mediator.
Whereas litigation is often protracted and expensive, a well-prepared mediation can result in resolution in a single day, or in unusually large or complex matters, a few sessions. While a trial date may take years to obtain, we can set your mediation date to occur within weeks. This saves money, preserves vital relationships, and allows people to timely return to their lives without the trauma of litigation.
The mediator begins by reviewing each party’s mediation brief in advance. You may submit a brief of any length or format. We recommend sharing your brief with the other parties but will accept confidential statements submitted to the mediator only.
We can conduct mediation in person or via Zoom videoconference. We provide hospitality in person, and a Zoom facilitator for videoconferencing. See Resolution Remedies and American Legal Video Solutions’ guide to Zoom mediation here.
The mediation conference may be attended by counsel and must be attended by those with settlement authority on each side. The session often begins with an introductory joint conference and thereafter the mediator meets with the parties together and/or separately as appropriate. Private meetings, also known as caucuses, can be confidential; the mediator will not disclose information obtained during a caucus if advised that it is confidential.
The mediator helps counsel ensure that any agreement reached is voluntary and informed. The settlement agreement is a binding and enforceable contract. If a signatory fails to comply with the terms of the settlement agreement, the parties may choose to return to mediation or address the breach of contract in court.