A trained impartial person called a mediator helps you and the other person or company in dispute communicate, understand each other, and reach agreement if possible. It is voluntary, confidential and costs less than going to court.
A negotiated settlement is a resolution that meets the needs of all parties. The settlement may include financial terms, other arrangements such as joint ventures or licensing agreements, or it can involve non-financial matters such as how to resolve the future relationship. Mediation is often used to avoid a trial or arbitration. It is also often used after a trial has been commenced to help the judge or jury make a decision.
Courts use mediation to try and settle cases and avoid the expense of a trial, but you do not need to be referred by a court to mediate your case. You can request mediation or your lawyer can suggest it. The process of mediation usually involves a meeting in which you and the other party describe your issues in dispute to the mediator who does not take sides or decide your case.
The mediator will ask questions to clarify your positions. Then the mediator will help you look at the underlying interests in the dispute and will assist you with developing options to satisfy those interests. Mediation is not a quick process but it can be a very effective way to resolve a dispute.
If you are unable to reach an agreement at mediation the mediator will usually provide a report to the judge. If you do reach an agreement the mediator will prepare an enforceable agreement to be signed by all of the disputing parties. You will then file the completed agreement with the court to finalize your case.
Mediation can be a useful process in any type of case or dispute. It is particularly useful in complex cases, such as those involving contracts, personal injury, employment, wrongful death or property disputes. It can also be useful in domestic relations cases such as divorce or child custody issues. It is a good option for disputes with companies and other businesses because it allows the parties to control the outcome of their dispute and avoid costly litigation.
The procedure of a mediation varies but the general pattern includes an opening statement by the mediator, allowing each party to describe their issues in a joint session and, if they are represented by lawyers, having separate meetings with each attorney called caucuses. In addition, the mediator may meet privately with the parties to discuss their individual situations or the circumstances surrounding the case. It is important that you arrive at mediation on time and that you are prepared to mediate your case. Also, you should come with all of the documents and evidence that you think will be necessary to fully explain your position to the other person or company in the dispute. If you are representing a company it is important that the person with authority to settle the case attends the mediation. what is mediation