The mediation process is a simple, but effective way of resolving disputes. Unlike handling everything through the courts, a mediator or third-party neutral, can help guide two parties to a balanced agreement within less time and costs. With mediation, also known as a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), the process of two parties and a mediator working through a resolution is fairly straightforward. Everyone who practices ADR has different ways of resolving a dispute, but typically mediation has a general set of guidelines to follow through with. Ben Willis, a mediator in Charleston, SC, gives a brief detail in how his dispute resolution process flows.
Every situation is different, and the first contact could come from someone seeking mediation, one of the lawyers or even the courts suggestions to choose a mediator. Phone or face-to-face conversations would be ideal as nothing is really written such as an email. This keeps the complexities up in the air.
Afterwards the mediator and parties find a meeting place. Usually this would be a private place with a set time. The parties should feel comfortable in a peaceful zone so they may freely discuss the dispute at hand. A mediator would typically have his or her own office to use. On some situations certain mediators may travel to a safe zone of the party’s choice. It is ideal that the place is private so there are no disruptions, and everyone focused.
When the time comes and everyone is present during a mediation then each party may dish everything out. The mediator can hear all the concerns each side may want to discuss. The outcomes envisioned by each may differ, but the neutral party will begin a series of discussion both joint and private to set an agenda.
A written list made by the mediator will discuss every aspect of the dispute. As the parties and mediator go through the list options are presented to resolve each issue. Everyone will address the concerns and common ground is often found for accomplishment. It is only the mediator’s job to guide and help both parties reach a solution. The idea is for equal resolution, and not some judgment decided by the courts.
Call it an agreement, or a peace treaty, but a mediator will want to write a document of solutions. Some mediators may write a hand written document, Memorandum of Settlement”, of the exact terms that both parties agree to. Each will sign and date. This settlement agreement is used as a standard agreement that both parties agree to follow through as binding. If the situation involves the court system the document can then be converted into a legal binding agreement.
As you can read, mediation has a process that is simple and comfortable. Usually, when a dispute arises a trained mediator can follow through steps that will make resolution more appealing than going through a court system. When both parties are subject to their own decisions handled by a neutral sided party then the chances of solution to the dispute are quickly agreed on. Satisfaction and a feeling of completing an obstacle may rest upon both parties so they are free to move on.