What is Mediation?
Mediation is the most common alternative dispute resolution. Unlike trail, mediation is less timely and less expensive. Even though mediation doesn’t take place in a courtroom, there are rules and procedures that come with mediation.
Mediation can be decided upon at any time. In some cases mediation is agreed upon prior to a lawsuit filing and other times mediation is initiated after a complaint. Mediation can either be assigned by the court or irritated by the parties. If the case is suitable for mediation and has the opportunity to be solved before trail, a court might suggest this alternative. Mediation can be initiated by a contract, agreement, or signed stipulation. Once mediation is agreed upon by both parties, the required forms must be submitted to the Court’s ADR office or pay their private mediation deposit.
A mediator is always a neutral, third party. A mediator’s job is to hear both parties and try to negotiate an agreement. It is up to the parties to select either a private neural or court panel neutral. Court panels are court hired mediators that have specific qualifications. They can be selected by either a Random Select Panel or a Party Select Panel. They are usually more affordable than private neutrals. A private neutral is not affiliated with a court’s ADR Department. Parties are responsible for paying them.
To schedule a successful mediation, the mediator must be contacted by the plaintiff. Mediation must be completed by the assigned completion date by the court (usually within 90 days).
Once a mediation is completed, the mediator submits a Statement of Agreement or Non-agreement. This notifies the court of the mediation. Each party also submits a survey that details the session. If the case is settled, a dismissal order is issued. If the case is not settled, the parties have to continue to trial.
In order to make the right choice regarding mediation and it’s benefits and weaknesses consult your attorney. Your attorney will be able to discern the strengths and weaknesses of your case and whether or not mediation is the correct choice.