BUSINESS SOLUTIONS

Mediation is a voluntary form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that allows parties to resolve issues without the use of litigation. The mediation process is generally considered more prompt, inexpensive, and procedural more simple than formal litigation. It allows the parties to focus on the underlying circumstances that contributed to the dispute, rather than on narrow legal issues. The mediation process does not focus on the truth or fault. Questions of which party is right or wrong are generally less important than the issue of how the problem can be resolved. Disputing parties who are seeking vindication of their rights or a determination of fault will not likely be satisfied with the mediation process.

When parties are unwilling or unable to resolve a dispute, one good option is to turn to mediation. Mediation is generally a short term, structured, task oriented, and hands on process.

THE MEDIATION PROCESS

In mediation, the disputing parties work with a neutral third party, the mediator, to resolve their disputes. The mediator facilitates the resolution of the parties' disputes by supervising the exchange of information and the bargaining process. The mediator helps the parties find common ground and deal with unrealistic expectations. He or she may also offer creative solutions and assist in drafting a final settlement.

There are generally three stages to a mediation, the joint session, the caucus, and the closing. In the joint session, the mediator explains the process to the parties and their attorneys and/or representatives (unless pro se). The process, the roles of the mediator and parties are explained, and ground rules are set. The caucus is a private session where the mediator meets separately with each party and their representative if necessary. The closing is when an agreement has been reached between the parties. The agreement is written, copies are distributed, and the case is settled.


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MEDIATOR'S ROLE

The role of the mediator is to interpret concerns, relay information between the parties, frame issues, and define the problems. The mediator does not offer legal advice or make decisions.

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BENEFITS OF MEDIATION

Some benefits of using mediation is it's confidential, costeffective, proactive, creative, informal, and party driven.