Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution, which is highly flexible, confidential, and voluntary. Furthermore, it provides a forum in which parties can gain a better understanding of each other’s positions and work together to explore options.
The element of confidentiality in this process can avoid issues being made public that parties may wish to keep private.
Mediation allows a non-biased third party to assist the parties in working towards a negotiated settlement of their disputed matter while retaining control of their decision on whether they wish to settle and if so, on what terms.
The most common style of mediation is facilitative mediation in which, the mediator will work to facilitate an agreement between the parties and not decide the case on its merits like an arbitrator or a judge may.
Mediators may use evaluative mediation, in which they evaluate the matter at hand and assess the strengths and weaknesses.
Mediation agreements will typically require parties to treat all documents and discussions as without prejudice and confidential. Therefore, what is said and written cannot be used in later proceedings if the matter is not settled through mediation.
Parties will attend mediation expect in unusual circumstances and will be accompanied by their lawyers.
Most commonly mediation will be used to narrow the issues in dispute in order to prevent conflict from spreading and to resolve disputes.
The mediator will meet privately with each party to discuss the matter confidentiality, which allows each party to be forthright with the mediator and gain a realistic look at their case in private and without any apprehension that any weaknesses may be communicated to the other party.
Purposes mediation can be used for:
Scoping – identifying the matters in dispute.
Deal mediation – negotiating terms of the transaction or deal.
Cost mediation – reach a settlement for any disputes over costs.
Policy making mediation – helping determine public policy, rules, and regulations.