Thought for the Day

 

How do you solve an insurmountable problem?
1. Take responsibility. Rarely are people blameless. How did you contribute to the problem?
2. Put things into perspective. Is it really as serious and impossible as it feels?
3. Address your emotions. Acknowledge your feelings and try to understand them.
4. Realize that every problem has a solution. It is the way the universe works.
5. Work toward a solution. What can you do to help yourself. Who else can help and what can they do?
Thanks to tinybuddha.com for inspiration. 

In mediation, a neutral third party helps people/groups/businesses work out their differences in order to develop solutions and reach an agreement in a dispute.

Always remember:  it may be in your best interest to seek legal counsel, especially if you do not know your rights.  Our mediators cannot give legal advice.

 

Who?

Who goes to mediation?

Anyone (individual, group, business, and corporation) with a dispute can utilize and benefit from mediation. The parties agree on a mediator. A two hour block is scheduled for a time and location the decision makers can meet, without distraction. Attorneys may or may not be present, depending on the wishes of the parties involved.

 

What?

What is mediation?

Simply put, mediation is facilitated negotiation.  That is, the parties in dispute negotiate a resolution with the help of a neutral third party, somewhere between a referee and a judge.

 

What kind of situations do you mediate?

There is no limit to the situations that could be helped with mediation:

  • separation/divorce
  • property & real estate disputes
  • tenant/landlord
  • construction disagreements
  • contract disputes
  • business to business conflicts
  • workplace disagreements (employees in conflict with each other)
  • employee/employer disputes
  • personal injury issues
  • livestock disputes
  • pet custody
  • patient and physician issues
  • educational service disputes

The possibilities really are endless.  If people or groups are in conflict, mediation can help.

 

What is the difference between mediation and arbitration?

In mediation, the decision makers are the people involved in the dispute; they design solutions together with the help of the mediator (neutral third party).

In arbitration, the arbitrator (neutral third party) imposes a decision on the people in dispute, much as a jury or judge would.  The parties still give up the power of decision to someone else.

Whereas arbitration generally ends with a winner and a loser, parties in mediation are empowered and create an agreement that suits everyone.  Even if they don't reach an agreement on all issues in dispute, much can be accomplished in mediation, and the parties always keep the right to go ahead with litigation.

 

When?

When is mediation appropriate?

It is never too early or too late to mediate.  Consider going through mediation when:

  • you have a dispute you cannot settle on your own
  • an ongoing relationship must be preserved
  • you wish to avoid the time or expense of litigation
  • you need to keep the dispute off the public record
  • you want to work out an agreement on your own

 

Where?

Where does the mediation take place?

Usually, mediations take place in a neutral location so that neither party has an unfair advantage.  Ultimately, though, the mediation session can take place wherever the parties and the mediator agree to hold it.

 

Why?

Why does each party pay half?

The mediator needs to remain neutral in all regards. When one party pays the fee, it can give the impression of bias.  It is acceptable for one party to pay the entire fee, as long as everyone agrees to the arrangement, but it is not recommended for all cases.

 

I have an open and shut case-- why should we mediate?

That may very well be.  But the cost to win that case could exceed the winnings.  Or, the other party may feel just as strongly that they are in the right, that they have an open and shut case.  Fighting it out may cost the winner everything at issue.  Either way, it might not be worth fighting over-- especially in an ongoing relationship.

On the other hand, you may indeed have a winning case, but litigation will take months or even years.  If a speedy recovery is among your interests, a smaller, mediated settlement may be more worthwhile.

 Mediation explores the parties' interests, rather than just their positions or demands.  Rather than "dividing up the pie", the process seeks to find ways to "make the pie bigger".  Everybody can win.

 

How?

How does the mediation work?

All the decision making parties involved in the dispute attend the meeting.  Each side explains their view of the situation and describes the result they seek.  The mediator facilitates the discussion, in which feeling and fact are separated, issues are identified, possible solutions are brainstormed and discussed, and an agreement/understanding is reached.