FAQ’S ABOUT MEDIATION
What is mediation? Mediation is a process for resolving disputes, in which a neutral person (someone who is not on either party’s side), with no decision making powers helps the parties reach a resolution.
What does mediation do? Mediation gives the parties an opportunity to control the outcome of their case by working out their differences and creating a solution that is mutually satisfactory. If a judge hears the case, the parties give up the abiltiy to solve their problems and the judge makes a decision.
How does mediation work? Mediation is an informal process. No rules of procedure apply. The mediator does not resolve the dispute or impose a decision on the parties. The mediator controls the process and supports the parties in their attempt to problem solve and reach a resolution. Confidentiality is an important part of the mediation, and if the dispute does not settle and ultimately goes to trial or any other judicial proceeding, the mediator will not willingly testify for or against either party.
What are some of the advantages of mediation? Mediation has several advantages:
It is conveniently located; it is informal, inexpensive, and you don’t need a lawyer; it offers flexible scheduling, including evenings and Saturdays; if you don’t reach an agreement, you can still bring your case to court; it is confidential (there is no public record); and the parties are generally more satisfied with settlements they negotiate personally, as opposed to those that are ordered by someone else.
What kinds of cases are good for mediation? Any kind of dispute can be mediated, however, the following disputes are good for mediation:
NEIGHBORHOOD DISPUTES: noise, pets, property lines, harrasssment, common driveways, nuisances, minor assault;
FAMILY DISPUTES: parent-child, divorce, sepreration, child/spousal support, custody, intergenerational, adult guardianship;
DISPUTES: landlord-tenant, friends and acquaintances, girlfriend-boyfriend, housemates, roomates;
SMALL CLAIMS DISPUTES: monetary disputes (e.g. loan repayment), consumer-repairperson, consumer-mechanic, consumer-merchant:
EMPLOYMENT DISPUTES: co-workers, supervisor-employee, employer-employee involving issues such as: discrimination, salary, promotion, accomodations for employees who are disabled, and disparate treatment.