Frequently Asked Questions
Our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Mediation
Q: What is mediation?
A: Mediation uses a neutral party trained in mediation techniques to avoid problems that can end up in litigation. Through education and communication, problems are resolved as you are guided to a mutually agreeable settlement.
Q: Why do people choose mediation?
A: Most people want a dispute resolved quickly so they can “move on” with their life. They may also want to avoid litigations costs. The court systems are tremendously overburdened, and the results can be unsatisfying. According to the American Bar Association “For most litigants, the costs of litigating greatly exceed the monetary value of the case”. Mediation has greatly risen in popularity to resolve disputes between opposing parties more efficiently and may even be required before litigation.
Q: Does this mediator determine who is right and wrong?
A: No. The mediator does not make a judgment about who is right or wrong. They help find a compromise to end the argument and negotiate a deal on your own terms. The goal is to put the problem behind you and avoid the time and expense of litigation.
Q: Is the agreement reached after a mediation binding in a court of law?
A: Yes. When both parties reach an agreement, a document is written, signed and legally binding. If the parties don’t agree, they may move on to the litigation process.
Q: What if I share something in mediation, we don’t reach an agreement, and the opposing party tries to use what I said in court?
A: If you can’t reach an agreement, settlement discussions are considered confidential and not admissible in court.
Q: Do I need to have an attorney to represent me in mediation?
A: No. In most mediations and disputes with claims of less than $25,000, parties do not have attorneys present. While attorneys are always welcome, this only increases the cost to the parties involved in mediation.
Q: How long does mediation take?
A: The length of time for mediation can vary. In most cases, a settlement is reached in a single session, taking between two and four hours. However, in a more complicated dispute, it might take multiple sessions and several days to settle.
Q: If I am not happy with how the mediation process is proceeding, can I just quit?
A: Yes. Mediation is voluntary, and the parties are not required to complete the process. Mediation is based on the principle that both parties mutually desire to resolve the conflict and give their best efforts to find an acceptable compromise. Both parties must be looking for an alternative to an expensive and emotionally draining litigation process.
Q: Who pays for the mediation?
A: In most cases, the cost of mediation is equally shared by all parties involved.