A dispute resolution method in which a neutral person helps people in a conflict talk through their issues and find solutions that both sides can agree on. Mediation can be used in a variety of situations, including labor-management disputes, contract negotiations, and family conflicts. It is also a valuable tool in resolving other types of legal cases, such as real estate, landlord/tenant, and personal injury claims.
Mediation is generally less expensive than litigation and can result in a flexible resolution that takes into account the needs of all parties. It is a confidential process in which the participants decide how and when to resolve their dispute. Mediation is typically used when a dispute cannot be resolved by other means such as negotiation, arbitration or court action.
During mediation the mediator will meet with each party or their attorneys in private sessions (called caucuses) to discuss their issues and mediation goals. The mediator will ask questions that may lead the parties to reconsider their positions and options. However, the mediator is not allowed to make decisions for you.
Successful mediations often result in a signed agreement or contract that prescribes future behavior. The mediated agreement is usually not binding. In addition, a mediated settlement allows the parties to create their own solution rather than have one imposed on them by a judge or jury. As a result, participants in a mediated dispute are more invested in the resolution and have greater flexibility to fashion a resolution that meets their specific needs and interests. what is mediation