Mediation is a method of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) available to parties wanting to immediately resolve a conflict. Mediation is essentially a negotiation facilitated by a neutral third party.
Is Mediation Right for You?
When parties are unwilling or unable to resolve a dispute, one good option is to turn to mediation. Mediation is generally a short-term, structured, task-oriented, and "hands-on" process.
In mediation, the disputing parties work with a neutral third party, the mediator, to resolve their disputes. The mediator facilitates the resolution of the parties' disputes by supervising the exchange of information and the bargaining process.
Adina assists parties to find common ground and deal with unrealistic expectations. She may also offer creative solutions and assist in drafting a final settlement. Her role is to interpret concerns, relay information between the parties, frame issues, and define the problems.
When to Mediate?
Mediation can be a voluntary process, although sometimes statutes, rules, or court orders may require participation in mediation. Mediation is common for issues referred to small claims courts, housing courts, family courts, and some criminal court programs and neighborhood justice centers.
Unlike the litigation process, where a neutral third party (usually a judge) imposes a decision over the matter, the parties and their mediator ordinarily control the mediation process -- deciding when and where the mediation takes place, who will be present, how the mediation will be paid for, and how the mediator will interact with the parties.
After a Mediation...
If a resolution is reached, mediation agreements will be written, and content varies with the type of mediation. The mediation agreement will be a binding and enforceable contract. In some court-ordered mediations, the agreement becomes a court judgment. If an agreement is not reached, however, the parties may decide to pursue their claims in other forums.
The mediation process is generally considered more prompt, inexpensive, and procedurally simple than formal litigation. It allows the parties to focus on the underlying circumstances that contributed to the dispute, rather than on narrow legal issues. The mediation process does not focus on truth or fault. Questions of which party is right or wrong are generally less important than the issue of how the problem can be resolved.