Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Why should I mediate?

  1. Mediation is a confidential, informal process. To accommodate different types of issues, it’s flexible. Unlike litigation, the goal of mediation is to find a win-win solution, giving you the opportunity to discuss the issues from your perspective and hear the other party's perspective in a neutral, non-adversarial environment.

Q. How long does mediation take?

  1. A typical mediation session is concluded during an eight-hour work day. Some mediation takes a half day, and more complex matters may require more than one day.

Q. What if there are more than two of us with a problem?

  1. Mediation has the flexibility to address multi-party disputes, and group issues (several parties that have common issues regarding another party or common issues in group-on-group situations). With the parties’ permission, we may use co-mediation, a process involving two mediators working as a team.

Q. Is mediation confidential?

  1. Yes, mediation is confidential. The parties, attorneys, mediators, and other persons present at the mediation will be required to sign a mediation agreement that includes confidentiality provisions.

Q. What happens during the mediation session?

  1. Typically, the mediator will first meet with all parties in a joint session to discuss the process, explain the mediator's role and the plan for the day. After the joint session, the mediator will meet with the parties separately in individual caucuses to clarify issues and work towards settlement. The parties have the opportunity to explain the problem as they see it and how they think the matter could be resolved. The mediator oversees the discussion to allow each party a full opportunity to be heard in an atmosphere of cooperation and respect. The parties are encouraged to generate solutions with both parties' interests in mind.

Q. What is the role of a mediator?

  1. The mediator is a neutral party. This means the mediator is not acting as advocate or a judge. Rather, the mediator's purpose is to assist the parties in identifying and clarifying the issues that must be resolved. The mediator will help to develop a constructive dialogue that examines each issue with a focus on the parties' needs, interests, and priorities. The mediator will not decide if either party is "right" or "wrong." The mediator will not force any party to accept a settlement that is not agreeable to everyone.

Q. What is co-mediation?

  1. Co-mediation is a process involving two or more mediators working together as a team. The process takes advantage of the diverse skills, experience, and personalities of the mediators. Co-mediation is a helpful tool, for example, in cases involving three or more parties, when there is a need for expertise in a particular specialty, or when there are concerns about gender balance.

Q. What kinds of cases can be mediated?

  1. Most civil (noncriminal) disputes can be mediated, including those involving contracts, business ownership, employment, personal injury, construction and divorce. For example, estranged business partners might decide on mediation to work out an agreement to divide their business assets, or employers and employees might mediate the terms of a separation from employment. Mediation is also useful to resolve disputes before a lawsuit is filed.