Mediations are a very common form of dispute resolution. While it is common practice for attorneys to attend and participate in mediations, you may have never experienced a mediation. If you have an upcoming mediation, there is no need to fret! Although every mediation is different, this article will help explain what you may be able to expect.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a meeting between parties and their lawyers to try to settle a dispute outside of court. The meeting is run by a mediator. The mediator is a neutral third party who talks to each of the parties, asks questions, and helps the parties reach a resolution.
What Happens at Mediation?
Every mediation is different. Sometimes all the parties and attorneys will start the mediation together. The mediator will inform the parties that discussions during mediation cannot be divulged at a later hearing or trial. Then each side will be given an opportunity to speak to the mediator individually, with counsel, and explain the dispute from their perspective. In other cases, the parties may start the mediation in separate rooms and never see the other party.
Once separated, the mediator will talk privately with each party. The mediator will ask questions in order to better understand each party’s position, travelling back and forth between rooms, assisting with the negotiation process.
Mediations are not a quick process. It usually takes time for everyone to get comfortable and begin compromising. If the mediator decides that a dispute is not going to settle, they will end the mediation. If the parties do reach an agreement, they will sign a binding settlement agreement which states the terms of the mediated agreement.
You will be able to talk with your attorney throughout the mediation, and they will be able to answer any specific questions you may have. Although each mediation is different, these points should help you understand what to expect from the process as a whole.
This McNeelyLaw LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion of any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.