What is Mediation?

Amongst the various methods for alternative dispute resolution, mediation tends to be one of the more common processes for conflict resolution.

Mediation is a legal process wherein a mutually selected, alternative dispute resolution professional, called a mediator, assists two parties in resolving their minor or major dispute. Whether the issue at hand is simple or complex, mediation is a cost-effective and neutral means for conflict resolution without having to incur the costs of court litigation. 

This article will explain what mediation is, the typical process of mediation, and when one might choose mediation instead of arbitration, litigation or any other legal processes to resolve cases. 

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a legal process led by any 3rd party (such as a therapist, counselor, lawyers, or trained formal mediators, etc.), wherein two parties meet to facilitate dialogue and resolve disputes in order to reach a mutual agreement. The procedure allows individuals to voluntarily work through their disagreements without engaging in further dispute or going to court. 

In this form of alternative dispute resolution, no single party directs an outcome. The mediator helps each party look at the facts available, come up with their own viable solution to solve the problem at hand, and settle the dispute. In the United States, the mediation process is governed by Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) and mediated by the American Arbitration Association (AAA). The mediation process is non-binding, meaning the parties involved are not required to accept the proposed resolution during mediation. However, once a settlement is reached and executed, the terms of that agreement are legally binding.

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