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Mediation Resources

Frequently Asked Questions About Mediation:


What is mediation?


"Mediation brings people in conflict together with a neutral third person who assists them in reaching a voluntary agreement. The mediator helps them clarify the issues, consider options, and reach a workable settlement that fits their needs.

Here’s a classic example of how mediation works. The kitchen has one orange, and two cooks need it. One cook wants orange juice for a fruit drink and the other needs orange rind for cake icing. The mediator helps them discover their real interests (orange juice and orange rind) as opposed to their stated needs (the orange). The problem can be reframed into “who gets the orange at what time.” If the second cook gets the orange after the juice has been squeezed out, both can satisfy their real interests."

 - American Bar Association

Does mediation have to follow the law?

"Mediation doesn’t rely on specific points of law. People solve their own problems by looking to the future instead of finding fault or blame. In contrast, the courts make judgments based upon the law, and rules limit what can be considered. Courts may be unable to address the genuine issues or causes of a dispute and may not focus on individual circumstances. If you want one of the benefits of court procedure - enforceability - your mediation agreement can be written saying that it is intended to be legally binding and then be filed in court."

- American Bar Association

Why mediate instead of litigate?

"Mediation works. It is an effective means of dispute resolution for any dispute not requiring a judicial or third party determination. It provides a forum and an atmosphere in which parties gain understanding, become understood, and work together to explore options for resolution. By resolving disputes in mediation, parties determine for themselves what is important and, ultimately the outcome of the situation. While the benefits of mediation vary somewhat depending upon the nature of the dispute, and model of mediation applied, the following are some of the benefits typically associated with mediation:..."

Lawrence A. Huerta,

Support through the process...

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