FAQs

What is mediation?

At the beginning of mediation, the mediator discusses the process and how it works. He or she describes that anything discussed in mediation is confidential. The parties will usually provide an opening statement in which they discuss their perspective, the legal issues involved and why a settlement has not been reached. Depending on the mediator’s approach and the relationship between the parties, the mediator will then meet with the parties jointly or put them in separate rooms and talk to them separately while fluttering information and solutions back and forth. If the parties reach an agreement, the mediator drafts the terms of the agreement into a written document and then the parties present this agreement to the court, if a court case is involved.

How long does civil mediation last?

Each case is different, so civil mediation may last for different amounts of time. In some cases, civil mediation may take half a day. Many cases are resolved in a full-day session of civil mediation. However, others may take more than one day. As long as the parties are making progress, civil mediation can continue until the case is resolved in a mutually-satisfactory manner.

What happens at civil mediation?

At civil mediation, a neutral third-party mediator helps guide the parties in structured negotiations. Using effective communication techniques and dispute resolution skills, the mediator uncovers the interests of the parties, helps them better articulate their positions and finds areas of agreement. If the parties reach an agreement, the mediator drafts this agreement.

What are the five steps of mediation?

The five stages of mediation include:

  • Convening mediation – Convening mediation involves getting the parties to agree to mediation to resolve their dispute. They sign an agreement that outlines the mediation process and services the mediator will provide. They then schedule a mediation session.
  • Opening – During the opening session, the mediator explains the process of mediation and lays down the ground rules. The parties may give opening statement about their perspective of the case.
  • Communication – During this stage of mediation, the parties explain their position and share information with the mediator. The parties may exchange information privately or in front of each other.
  • Negotiation – The mediator may take offers and counter offers back to the parties until they reach an agreement.
  • Closing – The parties draft written documents that make the settlement agreement legally binding and enforceable.

How do I prepare for civil mediation?

If all goes well, you will settle your dispute at civil mediation. Therefore, it is important that you are just as prepared for mediation as you would be if your case was going to trial. Be sure that you are familiar with the facts of the case and bring any evidence with you that supports your position.

Is a civil mediation agreement legally binding?

To ensure that an agreed upon settlement is legally bonding and enforceable, it is necessary to have a written agreement that meets certain requirements and is signed by the parties.