Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process that is used to resolve conflict. The goal of mediation is to identify the party’s individual needs and underlying issues through a trained Mediator that can help facilitate a creative problem solving environment. An important aspect of mediation is that it is a completely voluntary process. The Mediator does not impose their judgment or opinion on the issue.
Litigation and going to court is expensive for any claim. Mediation provides a substantially cheaper alternative to resolve conflict or foster settlement for legal issues. Furthermore, Mediation is a method where the parties are able to maintain control over the outcome and the process. In court proceedings the parties do not have this amount of control.
Helpful tips in choosing a Mediator:
- Make sure they are a Rule 114 Qualified Neutral. This means they have taken the requisite training that is approved by the Minnesota Supreme Court.
- Ask them how they run their mediations. Do they provide hybrid mediations that offer options to turn into an evaluative process? This might be valuable or hinder the mediation process depending on what the issues are and what you as a participant are looking for.
- If you have any questions ask, ask, and ask! This process should be run by you as a party. Call up a potential mediator you want to hire and ask them any questions you may have.
- Furthermore during the mediation you can always ask questions as well. The biggest flaw I have witnessed in mediations is parties being silenced by attorneys or mediators who are not familiar with the mediation process. This is your process and your chance to participate not your attorney. They are there for support and to advise you as to legal questions you may have as they come up.