Mediating Your Case
Through mediation, you and an opposing party can make a valid and binding agreement about all aspects of our pending cased. In mediation, a neutral third party, called a “mediator,” meets with you and the opposing party and helps you two come to an agreement on how a pending legal matter will end. You and the opposing party, not lawyers or a court, make the decisions. The goal of mediation is to have you and the opposing party focus on your post-lawsuit lives, that is, reaching an agreement that will enable you both to go on with your lives after the pending litigation. Mediation is a multi-step process, which involves the:
- Introductory stage, where the mediator explains the mediation process.
- Identification of issues that need to be resolved.
- Discussion and negotiation of the issues, with the idea being that you and the adverse party will discuss openly what you need and what you think is fair
- Reaching of an initial agreement
- Drafting and approving a final agreement
In addition, mediation is confidential, that is, anything said during your meetings can’t be used against you later.
What Does the Mediator Do?
The mediator’s job is to help you and the opposing party come to an agreement. The mediator must remain neutral, that is, he or she can’t give either one of you any legal advice or defend one party’s interests or concerns over the other’s. Some mediators are very active in proposing alternatives for the parties’ consideration; others take a more passive role, allowing the parties to propose solutions and then questioning them about their feasibility.
When a tentative or initial agreement is made, it’s the mediator’s job to make sure that you and the opposing party have fully explored the options, that you understand the consequences of the options, and that you’re both satisfied with the agreement. Then, the mediator will draft the final agreement, making sure that its language is clear and that it accurately reflects the end result of the negotiations undertaken.
DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.