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The Mediation Process

The mediation process begins with a no-cost initial phone consultation where we get a snapshot view of three important considerations:

  • Assessing the needs of the parties;
  • Understanding how developed the conflict is;
  • And determining the degree to which litigation is currently a factor.

Formal mediation then proceeds with private interviews where we delve further into the specific details and issues each party is dealing with.

The amount of time to mediate a successful outcome can vary.  Cases can often be settled in a few hours over a single session. However, some cases take more time. This all depends on the parties’ tolerance for each other, their willingness to listen, and their willingness to actively participate in the negotiation. Once resolution is reached we follow through with each finalizing detail to ensure all concerns are satisfactorily resolved.

We begin charging for our services only after both parties have agreed to mediate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is mediation?

Mediation is a process in which parties in conflict work with a neutral mediator to negotiate an agreement.

How does mediation differ from arbitration?

In mediation the parties have control over the outcome.  No one can be forced to do anything they do not agree to.  In arbitration the outcome is dictated by a privately hired judge.

Is there a role for my attorney?

Your attorney can play an important role by advising you, clarifying legal issues, and helping to draw up agreements. We work closely with parties and their attorneys to reach the shared goal of resolution.

What can I expect mediation to cost?

Mediators work on an hourly fee basis. This fee can be paid by one or both parties in any sharing arrangement they agree upon. In some cases a fixed fee rate can be agreed upon instead.   Most cases can be successfully mediated in 10 hours or less over one or two separate sessions. Divorce cases are often mediated over a time period of several weeks in 1-2 hour sessions.

If we reach a settlement, is it legally binding?

Yes, either the mediation will close with a signed agreement, or the attorneys for the parties will commit to ending the lawsuit with a formal settlement and release agreement. The agreement you reach is reduced to a contract that is legally binding.

What if we can’t reach agreement?

You are free to return to the conflict if you choose to do so. The mediation process you have gone through remains confidential. Your mediator cannot be called to testify in court if you choose to litigate after mediation.