What is mediation?

Mediation is a process by which a third party, called a Neutral or Mediator, facilitates communication between parties who are in conflict, and attempts to assist them in working out a solution which is fair, reasonable, and acceptable as a way to resolve the dispute.

Mediation is usually just a one-time session. Most last no more than three hours. Time length varies depending on the number of parties, their cooperation, and the complexity of the case. Mediation may take place at any mutually agreeable location, usually the Mediator’s office.

Normal rules of evidence do not apply so usually witnesses are not necessary at the session. What has gone on in the past is not as important as what the parties, themselves, will do in the future to solve the problem.

ADR sessions are confidential. No information about the parties or their negotiations leaves the session.

If the mediation results in a satisfactory agreement that both parties feel is fair and equitable, the mediator puts the terms of agreement into a settlement memorandum and asks both parties to sign in agreement. The settlement memorandum is given to the parties’ attorneys who will prepare a settlement agreement or consent order to be presented to the presiding Judge for signature. The agreement or order will then be filed in the original case. If no agreement is reached, the court is notified, and the parties are required to appear in court on their scheduled date.


Why Mediation?

In an overburdened legal system, there is a way in which to minimize the usual hostilities and encourage communication.

A Neutral qualified by training, experience, and temperament will serve as a catalyst for agreement and cooperation.

Mediation allows the parties to pick the Neutral of their choice.

Mediation is less stressful than a trial, and saves time, money and emotional energy.

Mediation offers the opportunity to create your own flexible solution to the problem, with the approval of the Court. Resolution occurs in a vast majority of the cases.

Many courts now require parties to participate in mediation prior to trial.



Neutral. The term “neutral” or mediation refers to an impartial person who facilitates discussions and dispute resolution between disputants in mediation, case evaluation or early neutral evaluation, and arbitration. Thus, mediators, case evaluators, and arbitrators are all classified as “neutrals”.

Mediation. Mediation is a process in which a neutral facilitates settlement discussions between parties. The neutral has no authority to make a decision or impose a settlement upon the parties. The neutral attempts to focus the attention of the parties upon their needs and interest rather than upon rights and positions. Although in court-connected mediation programs the parties may be ordered to attend a mediation session, any settlement is entirely voluntary. In the absence of settlement the parties lose none of their rights to a trial.


A “Win-Win” Solution

*Mediation creates a “win-win” result in a neutral environment, rather than the usual “win-lose” decision in an adversary court proceeding, is more beneficial to each side. If two parties can reach an agreement privately during a mediation session, they can avoid the confrontational proceeding in a traditional courtroom setting.

*Mediation is less costly than other options, especially litigation. It is cheaper for the parties, as well as the Court, which is funded ultimately by the taxes.

*Final settlements can usually be reached more quickly.

*A higher degree of confidentiality can be maintained. The less formal, more comfortable environment, facilitates an agreement atmosphere.

*The parties are more likely to follow through with a mediation settlement in which they have had a greater degree of input.

*The law office of Allen, Forehand & Adams can help you settle your case.