Mediation is a process in which a neutral third person, called a mediator, assists disputants in reaching an agreement. Participants may settle part or all of their differences. The mediator has no authority to decide the issues or force a settlement. The actual conduct of the mediation may vary depending upon the style of the mediator and the nature of the issues in your case.
The mediation, ordinarily a voluntary process, is private, informal, and confidential. There are no court reporters, stenographers, or court officers allowed to participate. The mediator will guide the conduct of the mediation without the formal rules of evidence or procedure used in a court proceeding. The participants may work with the mediator to establish some ground rules, time limits, and the necessity of future sessions.
The mediation usually begins in joint session with an introduction of the process by the mediator. Each participant is then given an opportunity to express their points of view and feelings; after which, the mediator may move back and forth between joint and private meetings, called caucuses. During this process, the mediator assists the parties in clarifying interest, discussion areas of disagreement, identifying options for possible solutions, and if possibly, developing a Settlement Agreement.
Throughout the process, the mediator will focus on the participants and their interests, concerns, and perceptions. Because the mediator's emphasis is on the participants and not the law, attorneys (if present) can be helpful in discussing legal principles and rights that may be involved. If a settlement is reached on all or part of the issues, the mediator may assist the participants in drafting the Agreement.
Mediators do not provide legal or financial advice. Should participants have questions or concerns, they are urged to contact the appropriate professional i.e. attorney, financial advisor, tax consultant, etc.
Yes. Mediation has a 85% settlement percentage nation wide and a 76% settlement percentage in the state of Georgia.
You should consider mediation anytime you are in a conflict with another person, group, or business and feel that you need assistance in resolving the matter.
No. Some court cases are ordered to mediation. Often, a great deal of time, money, and personal energy can be saved by going to mediation before going to court.
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