Based on my experience as a mediator since 1991, these are some of the qualities that I have come to value in mediation. If you are considering contacting me for mediation services, please review this first to determine if I would be a good fit for your case, and vice versa. If so, I look forward to hearing from you!
One of my goals in mediation is to enable parties to have an honest conversation about what has occurred. Clients get the best results when they are able and willing to talk through what's bothering them. This may or may not have anything to do with the legal issues.
Resolving the Conflict
There is a vast difference between settling the legal issues, and resolving the conflict. In the former situation, parties may reach a settlement, yet the underlying tension and ill-will continue. The latter offers the parties real resolution by addressing each person's underlying needs and interests. Agreements reached in this way tend to be far more satisfying and long lasting for those involved.
Emotions play a large role in conflict and often need to be addressed in mediation. Therefore, It is important that neither the attorneys nor anyone else present interrupt this or prevent this from occurring. When emotions surface, it can be extremely helpful.
A Process Centered on the Parties
It is extremely helpful for the parties to have the benefit of counsel during mediation. However, while attorneys can play a critical role in the mediation process, the focus of mediation is on the parties. Parties are encouraged to participate fully in joint and private sessions.