Mediation services provide a neutral third party who encourages both sides to present their views, helps parties devise mutually acceptable solutions and facilitates the process of reaching an agreement. Disputes are typically resolved faster and at a lower cost than trial or appeal. Mediation also offers greater privacy than a court hearing, and allows parties to craft a solution tailored to their individual needs and circumstances.
The process can help repair or preserve working relationships that may have been strained by the dispute, and can be more flexible than the terms of a traditional legal settlement. This makes mediation particularly suited for disputes between parties to ongoing relationships, such as those in business or government.
Whether you’re considering mediation for your own case or looking to refer a client, ask potential mediators questions about how they approach the process and how they have handled previous disputes. A good mediator will take the time to understand your situation, as well as those of the disputing parties. They will then work with you to create options for a resolution and help you evaluate those options.
mediation services can be arranged through a private practice, at the courthouse where your case is pending, or through your local Civil Dispute Resolution Center (CDRC). Many state courts maintain lists of mediators who regularly work on court-ordered cases; check with your local courthouse for more information. You can also find mediators through national and state mediation organizations and directories.