What Is Mediation?
Mediation is a scheduled conference between the parties to a dispute in order to help the parties reach an amicable resolution. The parties chose a third party called a mediator to help facilitate a settlement to their dispute. The mediator cannot order a party to act or pay money.
The mediator is a neutral third party who helps the parties understand the issues in the dispute and assists each side to reach an agreement. Agreements reached in mediation typically have a very high rate of compliance.
Benefits of Mediation
There are many benefits to mediation:
- Expediency: The mediation process allows for a much quicker resolution of a dispute as compared to litigation in the court process.
- Expense: The process is less expensive than litigation or the formal appeals process.
- Involvement: Mediation provides a mechanism for resolving disputes that allows the parties to control and "own" the outcome. In comparison, if the parties proceed to trial or a final hearing, the resolution lies in the hands of the jury or the judge.
- Creativity: At mediation, the parties can resolve their dispute outside of the traditional remedies available from the court process. One example would be a letter of apology.
- Confidentiality: The mediation process is confidential. If an agreement is reached, the terms of the agreement including the amounts paid, if any, are confidential. Likewise the information provided to the mediator can be furnished in confidence to the mediator by either side. In comparison, a jury verdict is public.
- Finality: Mediation offers closure and finality of a dispute. Unlike jury verdicts and court orders which are subject to lengthy appeals, mediation offers a complete and final resolution of a dispute. If an agreement is reached at mediation, the matter is closed.
In the state of Florida and federal court, nearly all civil cases are ordered to mediation before trial. At A.R.C., our mediators are certified and our process is designed to comply with all state and federal court-ordered mediations.