October 2, 2023

Mediation is a process for people who have a dispute to discuss it with the help of someone else. Unlike arbitration or court, mediation is usually less formal and involves less time. During mediation, the mediator helps participants come up with possible solutions and keep them focused. Often, the mediator will encourage the parties to think beyond legal requirements and consider broader business interests.

Mediators work with a variety of disputes, including business, real estate and personal matters. They are commonly used to resolve disputes between neighbors, but many courts also require that a case be mediated before going to trial. The cost of litigation is high, and mediation provides a faster, cheaper alternative.

During the mediation session, the mediator will introduce everyone, explain the goals of the mediation, and establish rules for the sessions. Each party will then have an opportunity to make an opening statement, describing their side of the story and the consequences of their position. During this portion of the process, the mediator will listen to each speaker but will not interrupt them.

After the opening statements, the mediator will meet with each individual party in private (called a caucus). In the caucus sessions, each party will have an opportunity to clarify and enlarge upon their positions, and to provide the mediator with any new information that they wish to share. During the caucus sessions, it is helpful to avoid identifying absolute “bottom lines,” as doing so may limit a participant’s ability to profit from the what is mediation

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