Mediation is a mutually beneficial conflict resolution process that allows people to resolve their differences in an informal and efficient way. Mediation is usually a quicker option, helping the parties avoid lengthy litigation.
Mediation is an alternative method of dispute resolution. A neutral mediator, trained to help people work through their differences, does not make a decision on who is right or wrong.
A mediator helps the parties work out their problems to provide their own solutions in a confidential setting.
After a charge is filed we will invite the involved parties to voluntarily participate in mediation. All parties to the charge should attend the mediation, be familiar with the facts and have the authority to settle the charge. The average mediation session lasts between
3 to 4 hours depending on the complexity of the case.
Mediation is a voluntary option to traditional litigation; all parties involved must agree to mediate. A professional mediator will attempt to reach a mutual agreement. If an agreement cannot be met, the charge will be forwarded to investigation and
The greatest benefit of mediation is that it allows parties to resolve their own issues in a way that meets their unique conditions in a cost effective, time efficient manner. A written and signed mediation agreement is enforceable in court, just like any other contract.
- Dealing with Entrenched Belief Systems
SMU Center for Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management
- Collaborative Law
Sponsored by the Dufee & Eitzen Law Firm
CORE PRINCIPLES OF THE PROCESS
- Constructive Settlement: The core purpose of the process is to help clients constructively reach settlement through respectful communication, negotiation and compromise, Participants commit to speak, act and communicate in a way that are consistent with attempting to constructively reach settlement. The process is about finding solutions not attacking or blaming clients or the professionals.
- Common Courtesy: The process is about giving participants a dignified and emotionally safe way to express their needs, interests concerns and questions. Participants commit to treating all other participants with civility an common courtesy.
- Process: The process involves a) agreeing to ground rules, b) gathering information, c) exploring options, d) negotiating solutions and e) documenting agreements - in that order. Participants recognize and commit to following this process in its sequential steps to help all involved (the clients?) make better, durable and more informed decisions.
- Informed Decisions and Full Disclosure: The process helps clients make informed decisions based on full disclosure. Participants recognize that full disclosure, transparency and documentation are essential to making informed durable decisions, and they commit to act consistently with that goal.
- Empowered Decisions: Clients making their own empowered decisions is at the core of the process. (or maybe Client empowerment is at the core…instead) The professionals will work to inform, educate and advocate for the clients, and at the same time, the ultimate success or failure of the process rests with the actions and decisions
of the clients.
- No Unilateral Decisions on Significant Issues: The participants agree that unilateral decisions regarding important issues concerning the clients’ children or the clients’ property create conflict, distrust and controversy. The participants pledge to communicate with each other and obtain mutual consent before taking action on major decisions affecting the clients’ children or their property.
- Professionalism Efficiency and Compensation: The professionals pledge to be prepared, informed and prompt in their dealings with each other and all participants. The professionals and clients pledge to act in ways that promote and improve efficiency and to see to it that the professionals’ bills and retainers are timely paid.
- Care for the Family: The goal of the process is to help families work through their problems in ways that are less damaging, less traumatic and less expensive than approaches often used in the tradition litigation process, and to provide an environments where professionals encourage both clients to take actions consistent with the well-being of the family. To that end, the professionals pledge to speak, act and communicate in ways consistent with those goals.
- Respect in the process: All participants in the process pledge to treat others in their words and actions in the same way they would want to be treated.
- Hope for the Future: The process recognizes that resolving family conflicts can be extremely hard and often involves broken trust, hurt feelings and strong emotions The professionals pledge that no matter how difficult or challenging the conflict they will aspire to speak, act and communicate in ways that promote the hope that the restructured family can some day live in peace and harmony.
- May be Voluntary or may be court-ordered.
- equires a mediator who is a third party neutral facilitator, who may be agreed upon or appointed by the court.
- May Accommodate the scheduling needs of the participants, or may occur at the mediator’s discretion within court deadlines.
- May be conducted early in the process or after efforts at settlement have been unsuccessful and the parties have reached an impasse.
- Has no statutory requirement that the parties provide full disclosure of information.
- Has no power to compel the parties to participate in good faith.
- Only permits reports to the court by the mediator that the matter did or did not settle.
- May or may not involve a mediator who is a lawyer but, regardless, the mediator does not provide legal advice or drafting of court orders.
- May or may not involve participation by lawyers.
- Requires agreement for resolution; without resolution, the process will terminate.
- Allows for judgement to be entered by the court on the basis of mediated settlement agreement which provides that the agreement is not subject to revocation.
- Allows the mediator to determine how the process is conducted, including the number and length of sessions, who may attend, and whether there are joint face-to-face or caucus style meetings.
- May use interest-based negotiation principles and/or risk analysis based on likely
- Is a confidential process; disclosure of mediation communications cannot be compelled and may not be used as evidence, except in certain limited circumstances, such as reports of abuse.
- Prohibits the mediator’s disclosure of informations revealed in confidence by a party to the other party unless the party authorizes the disclosure.
- Allows objection to court-ordered mediation when there is an allegation of history of family violence, requiring a hearing, and allows court-ordered safeguards, if the mediation is ordered.
- May occur in matters that are involved in the collaborative law process and in matters that are litigated.
Since the mediation process varies greatly depending on the timing and style of the mediator, you should ask your lawyer and/or the mediator questions about the suggested approach to determine if the proposed mediator and mediation process suits you.