What is Mediation?

Resolving conflict

Mediation is a process where a neutral third party is engaged to help parties resolve a particular issue. Mediation is commonly known to be used in litigated cases, but it is also a wonderful process to engage in when there is either no litigation or to avoid litigation.  The mediator’s job is different from an attorney’s job. While an attorney advises about the law, the mediator helps to facilitate a conversation between the parties, so that they can fully uncover each other’s interests and come to a mutual agreement.

Calm atmosphere

The mediator keeps parties calm, which allows them to think clearly about the potential resolutions. It is also the mediator’s job to stop bad behaviors, such as yelling, name-calling, interrupting and inflammatory accusations. Another role the mediator plays is to reframe what the parties are saying in order to ensure that they are hearing and understanding each other’s thoughts clearly. Some mediators may reframe and some will have the parties reframe or mirror what they heard in order to help them get to a place of understanding.

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Transformative mediation

There are three different types of mediations. Transformative mediation changes the way the parties feel and interact with each other. It literally changes their relationship. This type of mediation is great in family situations, where there has been damage to a relationship and family members are no longer speaking to each other or are hostile towards each other. Transformative mediation can help heal the damage and jump-start the relationships in a healthy manner. It is also an effective way to mediate between co-workers who have not been getting along or board of directors, who have been entrenched in a fight for an extended period of time.

Facilitative mediation

Facilitative mediation is one where the mediator facilitates a conversation between everyone and ensures that all parties are heard and understood. This type can be used in many types of cases.

Evaluative mediation

Evaluative mediation is one that is typically used in litigated cases. The mediator weighs in on the various outcomes and explains to the parties how they may stand to lose or win if they continue to move towards a trial. The mediator evaluates the various outcomes for the parties, so that they can see the value in trying to settle the case quickly.

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Agreement in writing

I use all three types of mediation, depending upon what is most appropriate for a specific case or stage of negotiations. As always, my goal is to reach an agreement or resolution that satisfies both parties and can be a lasting agreement. As a mediator, I don’t draft the final agreement but put in a letter of memorandum so that your attorney can do so.

Learn a little about my background and how that applies to mediation.

Uses for Mediation

People use mediation to solve many types of disputes; the most common are divorce, employment, personal injury and landlord tenant issues. I have helped hundreds of people with all four, as well as family conflict resolution.

“I highly recommend Alice for her skills, her demeanor, her education, her willingness to really hold neutrality and bring out the best in both parties. Divorce is what it sounds like. It’s splitting things up. Alice makes it a peaceful process. I am so grateful for Alice. If you have to go through this, you have to use Alice.”

Becky H.