What is Mediation?
Mediation is a collaborative dispute resolution and settlement negotiation process conducted by a neutral third party, the mediator.
The parties in mediation make their own informed decisions on the issues and are responsible for the outcome.
Mediation is a non-adversarial alternative forum to litigation, arbitration or attorney negotiated settlements.
Mediation is for the purpose of creating agreements, not for winning arguments.
Is Mediation for Us?
If you answered "yes" to any of the following questions, mediation could be a viable and attractive option for you to consider
Do you want to maintain control over the decisions that will impact your lives?
Do you want to avoid the financial burden and emotional trauma of adversarial legal proceedings?
Do you want to create a fair, honorable and durable agreement?
Are you willing to work together achieve a mutually acceptable result?
What about my legal rights?
You do not waive any of your legal rights by participating in mediation.
Mediators are ethically required to advise clients to consult with independent legal counsel during the process to review the issues and proposed agreements as they are developed. This policy will enhance your confidence in the mediation process.
In order to avoid any potential conflicts of interest or legal representational issues, the mediator will not give any party legal advice or prepare court documents.
I already have an attorney-can we still mediate?
If you are currently represented by an attorney, consult with him or her regarding your desire to explore mediation. We are happy to work with represented clients and will work with attorneys when appropriate to facilitate out of court resolution of your case. We will request that unless there are unusual and special circumstances that you request your attorney(s) to suspend court dates in the near future. Negotiating at the "eleventh hour" is not the optimum environment for lasting agreements. Consult your attorney regarding these issues. Attorneys generally don't practice mediation and mediators do not practice law!
How do we start the process?
Contact a professional mediator to arrange an initial consultation to review your case. Inform your attorney of your desire to explore or engage in mediation as an alternative to adversarial litigation.
If you are comfortable with the mediator and your case is accepted, you will sign an Agreement to Mediate and set a schedule for formal mediation sessions. The result of your successful mediation will a written Memorandum of Understanding , drafted by the mediator, which sets for the details of your agreement. This document may then be reviewed by your attorney.
Once signed, this document can the be incorporated into your mandatory court forms or other required legal paperwork.
What about other experts?
Outside professionals can be used for any number of reasons, including tax advice, financial planning and property, business, or pension evaluations, to ensure that you are making informed decisions.
Mediation clients may jointly retain outside assistance from someone they both trust in order to save time and money, but you are entitled to obtain your own independent advice on any issue.
For Family Law Clients
It is our policy as mediators to inform all clients with Parenting Plan issues that the mediator will display a strong bias on behalf of the children's interests during the mediation process.
The mediator can refer parents for outside consultations with other professionals when necessary, to assist them in making good decisions on behalf of their children.
Children's Rights in Divorce
are a matter of first priority
A list will be provided at your consultation.
What are the success rates?
It is difficult to measure "success rates" because clients come to mediation with diverse and complex issues. On occasion, mediation may only partially resolve the issues or in a few cases, the process may come to an impasse and the mediator would withdraw.
We find that vast majority of our clients consider the process successful. There are of course, no guarantees that every case will be successfully resolved.
How much does it cost?
Each mediation case is unique. Costs are based upon an hourly rate established by your mediator. Because mediation costs are shared by the parties, and because there is generally only one mediator, the hour by hour comparison for litigation is several times greater than the comparable time for mediation per party. Discuss rates with any potential mediators for a complete explanation and estimates when possible. We do not work on "retainers" nor do we allow accounts to accumulate. Unless otherwise agreed upon, services are paid for at the end of each session. Cash, checks, and money orders accepted.