Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party, known as a mediator, helps two or more parties resolve disputes or conflicts. The goal of mediation is to reach a mutually agreed upon solution that is satisfactory to all parties involved.
Mediation is often used as an alternative to going to court, as it is typically faster, cheaper, and less adversarial. Additionally, mediation allows the parties to retain control over the outcome, rather than leaving the decision in the hands of a judge or jury.
Sometimes people only think of mediation as part of a family law case and it is true that family law is very mediation centric. In fact, it is required before trial. However, any dispute can be resolved by mediation, even one that does not appear to be going to court.
The process of mediation typically begins with initial meetings between the parties and the mediator. This can be with all parties or separated. I prefer to keep the parties separate throughout. During the initial meeting, I will explain the process and the parties will have an opportunity to discuss the issues they would like to resolve.
Next, I will go back and forth between parties in a series of private meetings . During these meetings, I will help the parties identify their interests and concerns, and explore possible solutions. I may also make suggestions or propose compromises solutions.
Once the parties have reached a preliminary agreement, I will bring them together to discuss and finalize the terms of the agreement. This agreement is usually written down and signed by all parties involved.
Mediation has many benefits. It allows parties to maintain a level of control over the outcome, rather than leaving it to a judge or jury. It is also less adversarial and more cost-effective than going to court. Additionally, mediation can help parties maintain ongoing relationships and can be used to resolve disputes in a wide range of contexts.
However, it’s important to note that mediation isn’t suitable for every situation. In some cases, the parties may be too far apart in their positions or there may be power imbalances that make it difficult for the process to work. In those situations, it’s best to seek legal advice.
Overall, mediation can be an effective way to resolve conflicts and disputes. If you are facing a dispute and are considering your options, it’s worth considering mediation as a potential solution. You do not have to have an attorney representing you to mediate with Watts Law, although it is helpful, because I cannot give legal advice as a mediator. Let me know if I can help.