Mediation FAQ

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What Types of Cases Can Be Mediated? There are no specific or solid rules or criteria as to which types of cases can be mediated. However, some cases are generally better suited than others for mediation. For instance, many civil or family cases may be mediated. Non-violent criminal matters, depending on the circumstances may also successfully be involved in a mediation process.

Are There Some Cases That Cannot Be Mediated? There are a variety of cases which will never qualify for mediation. Mediation requires consent from both disputing parties, so where a dispute is really volatile it is likely that mediation will be an inappropriate forum for dispute resolution. Other examples of cases that should probably not be mediated include: – cases where one of the disputants wants to establish a legal rule or precedent because mediation settlements only apply to the specific parties to the mediation and cannot be used in subsequent cases – cases where one of the disputants is fairly certain that he or she can win a huge settlement against the other party – cases where there is a large power imbalance between the disputing parties

What Are The Stages of Mediation? Although there are no “set in stone” rules of procedure for the mediation process itself and while the process remains much less formal than a court trial, there is a general structure which mediations will usually follow. Typically, a mediation will involve six stages: – the mediator will make his opening statement – the parties to the mediation will make their opening statements respectively – joint discussion amongst all involved parties and the mediator – private caucuses between the lawyers and their respective clients, sometimes including the mediator – joint negotiation – closing and settlement

When is Mediation Useful? Mediation is most useful in cases where the disputing parties wish to maintain some sort of relationship after settling the dispute and where they are both looking to arrive at mutually acceptable resolution while avoiding costly litigation. 5. What Does Mediation Do? In comparison to court proceedings, the mediation process allows the parties to focus on the underlying needs and interests of the disputants, and not simply their opposing positions. Essentially, if properly conducted, mediation should enable parties to manage the dispute resolution process in a “win-win” manner and it should allow for the facilitation of mutually agreeable settlements.

Must an Agreement Be Reached in Mediation? There is no mandatory agreement requirement in the mediation process. No party is forced to accept any proposed settlement at any time. If at any point it becomes impossible for the parties to reach an acceptable settlement, resort may be had to a court to resolve the dispute at hand.

Will I Still Need a Lawyer During the Mediation Process? Although it is by no means mandatory to have a lawyer accompany you to the mediation sessions, it is recommended for most cases. In a mediation setting your lawyer can ensure that you understand what is going on at all times and he or she can help prepare you for what is to come. Having a lawyer present will also ensure that your rights and interests are properly protected and advanced.

Will the Mediator Make Decisions For Me? The mediator is there in a facilitative capacity only. The mediator makes no decisions for the parties and does not provide legal advice to either side. He or she is there to help the disputants reach a mutually acceptable settlement. The mediator is not a judge whose responsibility it is to determine who is right or wrong in the situation. Simply put, the mediator facilitates communication between the parties and helps them examine a variety of possible outcomes and solutions to their disputes.

Does a Mediation Cost Less Than Going to Court? In general, the mediation process is shorter and less complex. As a result, the mediation process is not anywhere near as costly as a court date. The mediation process is also less costly on an emotional level because the process strives to create a “win-win” settlement.

Is a Mediation Confidential? Absolutely. The mediation process is confidential and remains out of the public eye. A confidentiality agreement will be signed by the parties involved in the process before beginning the process.