Mediation is another way to avoid the courtroom but without a person rendering an award or decision. Indeed, mediation does not have the purpose to decide who is right or wrong but tries to end the dispute in a diplomatic manner. Mediation is really helpful when the parties involved need to remain on good terms. That is the case when a conflict arises between family members or co-workers or business partners. For a mediation to be successful, the parties must be willing to cooperate and compromise in order to reach an agreement or to let go of the matter.
Compared to a trial or even arbitration, mediation is not a formal procedure. Nevertheless, a few steps are usually followed to favor a successful outcome.
Mediation usually begins with the mediator making an opening statement to introduce the parties, set the goals and explain the rules of the process. Following that introduction, the parties get a chance to explain the conflict in their words and give their side of the story. The mediator will then encourage an open dialogue to try to see how the situation can be addressed. The following step, known as private caucus, is a meeting between the mediator and each party, separately, one or several times. The parties may then be brought back together to negotiate directly. At the end of the mediation, if an agreement is reached, the mediator may put the main provisions in writing or can suggest that the parties summarize their agreement and sign a binding contract. The mediation process is confidential. The Law Offices of Peter L. Balogh highly recommend mediation and can assist parties with mediation as well.
Usually mediation is used as a preliminary solution to avoid going to court, but some parties will also begin mediation while already involved in a lawsuit to leave the court system and solve their issues.