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How Mediation Works

Here’s a summary of the process and a handful of situations when mediation makes sense:

  • Mediation is a good option in any situation where parties have a relationship they want to preserve. Consumer complaint cases, divorce proceedings, employer/employee conflicts, landlord and tenant disputes, neighbor disputes, and personal injury negligence cases may be a good fit for mediation. It’s important to note that mediation is a non-binding process, meaning that mediators cannot impose a decision on the parties.

There are five general steps in the mediation process:

  • Introduction: The mediator introduces everyone, explains the goals and rules of the mediation, and encourages each side to work cooperatively toward a settlement.

  • Statement of the problem: Each party describes the dispute and its consequences, financial and otherwise. While one person is speaking, the other is not allowed to interrupt.

  • Information gathering: This is a chance for each party to meet privately with the mediator. Each side will be placed in a separate room. The mediator goes between the two rooms to listen, discuss, and exchange offers.

  • Bargaining: The mediator might bring the parties back together to negotiate directly, but this is unusual. The mediator usually keeps the parties separate until a settlement is reached or the time allotted for the mediation ends.

  • Settlement: If the parties reach an agreement, the mediator will likely put the main provisions in writing and ask each side to sign the written summary of the agreement.

If you have any questions about this information, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I appreciate you keeping me in mind should you or someone you know find yourself in need of effective mediation.