Mediation is a carefully designed process.
Mediation is more than just a
or chat session.
First A date - time and place convenient to all participants will be established.
On the date of the session the mediator will sit with the disputants to explain any rules, the procedure and confidentiality issues.
Each party will have ample time to tell the mediator and each other about the problems they have been experiencing.
The mediator may take notes and ask questions to help identify and clarify the issues.
A Private Caucus may be called. In private caucus the mediator will meet privately with each side to determine if there is additional dialogue that parties may not have voiced in joint session and perhaps should not be voiced in joint session. This is also an opportunity to discuss what the parties think the strengths of their position are. Parties may wish to voice an offer to be presented to the other side. The mediator MAY NOT repeat any information obtained in private caucus without the permission of the parties.
Usually all parties return to the table with the mediator for more joint session to explore options. Private caucus may take place many times.
Once the issues are identified and options explored, negotiations and creative solutions take place.
When a solution, acceptable to ALL of the parties, is created, ....Then and ONLY then is an agreement drafted. The agreement is BY THE PARTIES for the benefit OF THE PARTIES. Once drafted and approved it is signed by all of the disputants.
If no agreement is reached, the parties are free to proceed with litigation.
Disputants may bring witnesses and legal counsel to mediation, if they wish.
Parties may wish to obtain advice of legal counsel before coming to mediation.
If you contact an attorney, he or she should be able to tell you what to expect in approximate time and cost of litigation, as well as the "possibility" of "winning" your case if you litigate. The attorney should have a spirit of cooperation toward mediation. When it is in the best interest of the client the attorney knows it can save time, money and misery. You cannot put a price on misery! Your attorney knows that over 90% of cases settle out of court, anyway. Hence, if a settlement can be reached before many hours of conferences, depositions and interrogatories, significant amounts of time and money can be saved.