How Does it Work?
Each mediation is different, and the process can be adapted to meet the needs, preferences, strengths, and weaknesses of the parties. Typically, mediation includes the following steps:
- Introduction: I will explain the mediation process and the roles and responsibilities of the parties. This is often done in a group setting, but it can be done individually.
- Opening statements: Each party will have the opportunity to make an opening statement to explain their perspective on the dispute. This is optional, and if you choose not to do this, it will not affect the success of the mediation.
- Individual Breakout Sessions: I will usually meet with each party in a private session to discuss the dispute further, identify concerns and interests, and to explore options for resolution.
- Joint sessions: In some cases, I will meet with the parties in a joint session to discuss the dispute and identify the issues that need to be resolved. This usually happens after a few individual sessions with each party.
- Negotiation: I will work with each party, individually and jointly, to negotiate an agreement that addresses concerns and interests.
- Arbitration Option: Participants will have the option to use the mediator in an arbitration role to allow the mediator to serve as an arbitrator to resolve specific issues in dispute. Both parties must agree to this option and also agree that the decision made in this process is binding and not subject to appeal.
- Closure: If an agreement is reached, I will help you to formalize the agreement in a written document. If you do not have an attorney, I can help you prepare the essential legal documents, help you file them with the court, and ensure they are signed and effective. If no agreement is reached, you may consider other options for resolving the dispute, such as arbitration or litigation.