Mediation is formally defined as:
|n. the attempt to settle a legal dispute through active participation of a third party (mediator) who works to find points of agreement and make those in conflict agree on a fair result. Mediation differs from arbitration, in which the third party (arbitrator) acts much like a judge in an out-of-court, less formal setting but does not actively participate in the discussion. Mediation has become very common in trying to resolve domestic relations disputes (divorce, child custody, visitation) and is often ordered by the judge in such cases. Mediation also has become more frequent in contract and civil damage cases. There are professional mediators or lawyers who do some mediation for substantial fees, but the financial cost is less than fighting the matter out in court and may achieve early settlement and an end to anxiety. However, mediation does not always result in a settlement.
[Source: Law.com Dictionary. http://dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx?selected=1233]
Here’s our definition:
Mediation is a safe, simple, adaptive process to guide you both to a livable and workable resolution of legal issues and/or life challenges. We work with you to ReSolve issues and conditions of life with real, sustainable, and livable resolutions.
People choose to mediate for a variety of reasons:
- A safe place to communicate. Mediation is conducted privately and confidentially. The mediation environment is designed for your physical and emotional comfort. The opposite is true for any courtroom. Mediation is designed to be a safe communication zone so that you may feel as comfortable as possible for talking openly about the most sensitive of issues.
- The personal challenges that you face and the discussions that occur in mediation are held in strict confidence, unlike legal cases heard in open court. An example of how paramount this confidentiality rule is — in most court cases, the mediator cannot be compelled to testify regarding the discussions or progress of the mediation.
- Mediation is faster, more efficient, and a more effective process. We are accessible – we schedule appointments with greater freedom and less restriction than any court. You will be able to mediate so much faster than having your case heard by a court – weeks/months for mediation vs. years for court. Our powerful, effective mediation model is adaptable for each client who presents with specific, unique needs.
- Informal and comfortable. Yep, you can come in flip flops! The mediator might even be wearing Crocs. All joking aside, many people prefer the informal and more relaxed mediation approach. Conversations can occur without observing any of the evidentiary rules of the courtroom. This is a “come as you are” approach to resolving issues. Simply, mediation is safe, confidential, private, and less stressful.
- Affordable fees. Resolving disputes in a court of law is very expensive – and we do mean very. Our goal is that your pockets will still be full at the end of the resolution process, and that you will not be victimized any more on any level.
- We do not expect your trust from the get go. Our job is to earn your trust. Trust in your mediator and the process is so crucial to the mediation’s success. We feel so strongly about this that we will refund the retainer fee if you do not have full trust and confidence in us after our first session.
- You will be heard. In litigation, your attorney speaks on your behalf and presents most of the evidence. If you are permitted to speak, it is on the witness stand for a limited time. If you think of something to add after your testimony, too bad – the court will not hear you. The courtroom rules are strict and limiting. However, that is not true in mediation. Mediation is a fluid exchange of ideas and thoughts. If you want to add something later in the process, you certainly can. Our goal is to get all ideas, thoughts, and feelings on the table so that everyone can be heard fully. Respectful voices will not be squelched or silenced. You are an active player in your own resolution rather sitting on the sidelines watching the game play before you.
- You will resolve the dispute, no one else. Mediation allows the two of you to speak, listen, and reach a resolution that is No jury or judge will impose a decision upon the dispute. Mediation allows you to own both the process and the ultimate resolution.
- You have the power. Litigants often feel vulnerable and powerless when their case is heard by a judge or jury. For good reason – they are powerless and vulnerable as a courtroom setting takes the power from the litigant and transfers it to the decision-maker (judge or jury) and the presenters (the lawyers). By choosing mediation, you have the power to resolve it, or not. You control your destiny. It is cathartic when you can say whatever you want to say. The continuum exchange (the flow of information, thoughts, feelings, and ideas) also creates a healing process. The courtroom is the opposite of healing.
Kinds of Conflict
Our clients choose mediation to resolve a variety of challenges:
- Domestic dispute
- Equitable distribution
- Unmarried partner disputes
- Same sex relationships
- Child custody
- Parenting plans
- Child support
- Child visitation
- Real property disputes
- Property damage disputes
- Neighbor disputes
- Contract disputes
- Business disputes
- Family business disputes
- Sexual harassment cases
- Family property and estate conflict
- Inheritance disputes
- Elder care disputes
- Medical ethics and end-of-life decisions
Are you ready to get started? Call now: (540)581-2695 or click here to contact us.