Mediation

iStock_000017553294XSmallMediation is a process in which an impar­tial third party (medi­a­tor) helps par­ties in con­flict find their own work­able, prac­ti­cal and effec­tive solu­tions. The medi­a­tor directs the process and pro­vides an envi­ron­ment and tools whereby those solu­tions and agree­ments can be reached by the par­ties, not the medi­a­tor. Because the par­ties for­mu­late the solu­tion, rather than hav­ing some­one dic­tate one, the result is much more sat­is­fy­ing and usu­ally works better.

Mediation is a vol­un­tary process. Usually one of the par­ties involved sug­gests it and the other agrees to participate.

Mediation is par­tic­u­larly appro­pri­ate in sit­u­a­tions where the par­tic­i­pants have an ongo­ing rela­tion­ship, have had one in the past and/​or will con­tinue to have one in the future. Bad feel­ings and win/​lose resent­ments which court lit­i­ga­tion com­monly results in are avoided. This applies par­tic­u­larly to any fam­ily, ongo­ing busi­ness and/​or employ­ment situation.

All aspects of the medi­a­tion process are, by law, con­fi­den­tial. Therefore, par­ties are able to raise issues freely and dis­cuss things that they might not want made pub­lic in court doc­u­ments and pro­ceed­ings. An agree­ment result­ing from the medi­a­tion may become pub­lic or be filed as a court doc­u­ment when the par­tic­i­pants agree to have that happen.

Frequently Asked Questions

WHO PAYS FOR MEDIATION?

While any one or more of the par­tic­i­pants in medi­a­tion may agree to pay for the process, it is most com­mon for all the par­tic­i­pants to share the cost equally. By shar­ing the cost, each par­tic­i­pant is mak­ing a com­mit­ment to make the process work.

HOW LONG DOES MEDIATION TAKE?

This depends on the kind of mat­ter being medi­ated. Divorces or employ­ment sit­u­a­tions which are sim­ple may be worked out in a cou­ple of two hour ses­sions with the medi­a­tor prepar­ing the paper­work for the agree­ment of the par­ties. More com­plex divorces or other kinds of dis­putes may take sev­eral more ses­sions. Some busi­ness or orga­ni­za­tion dis­putes are han­dled in one full day session.

DOESMEDIATOR MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS OR DECISIONS?

A medi­a­tor does not make deci­sions for par­tic­i­pants, although she may give guid­ance to par­ties from her knowl­edge of court case out­comes. Parties are always advised to seek inde­pen­dent legal advice from an attor­ney that is act­ing as his or her own advo­cate before sign­ing any final agree­ment. In some sit­u­a­tions, the par­ties may decide to have a medi­a­tor act as an arbi­tra­tor (Med-​​Arb) if they are unable to reach an agreement.

DO LAWYERS PARTICIPATE IN MEDIATION?

In some kinds of cases, such as employ­ment or busi­ness mat­ters, lawyers may sit in on the medi­a­tion with their clients. In other kinds of cases, such as divorces, lawyers will give par­tic­i­pants advice, but not sit in on the actual medi­a­tion ses­sions. Even where lawyers are present, the pur­pose of the medi­a­tion is to have the par­tic­i­pants speak for them­selves. Participants are always advised to talk to a lawyer before sign­ing any final agreements.

WHAT HAPPENS IF AN AGREEMENT IS REACHED?

The medi­a­tor will usu­ally work with the par­tic­i­pants to draft a doc­u­ment that incor­po­rates the agree­ment of the par­ties. Depending on the kind of case being medi­ated, that doc­u­ment and/​or oth­ers may need to be reviewed and final­ized to be filed with a court. The doc­u­ments that are filed with the court are usu­ally pre­pared by a lawyer.

PO Box 50814, Eugene, OR 97405  Tel: 541−343−9052

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