Mediation is a process where disputants meet with a neutral third party, who guides them through a discussion of difficult issues and helps them negotiate an agreement. It is informal, confidential, non-adversarial and usually voluntary. Mediation is effective for any dispute not needing a decision by a third party or requiring a judicial determination of guilt or innocence. Mediation may take place at any time during a conflict, and disputants may mediate a problem more than once.
Does mediation work?
Statistics show that more than 85 percent of disputes are settled in mediation. Moreover, parties are more likely to follow through with a voluntary joint agreement they crafted rather than with an order imposed upon them by a third party.
Is mediation effective for business, company or workplace disputes?
In business environments, mediation can be used to resolve both internal and external conflict. In the case of internal conflict, a mediator helps the disputants work through what is usually an emotionally-charged atmosphere. Since mediation is confidential, the inner workings of the business do not end up as public record. Changes to the inner workings of the company resulting from mediation generally have far-reaching positive effects on the morale of the employees and the business as a whole.
Is an agreement reached in mediation legally binding?
With specific terminology included in it, the signed settlement agreement is binding and enforceable in a court of law.
How much does mediation cost?
Mediation is by far the affordable choice in resolving disputes. Mediation usually costs less than arbitration and is not as expensive as litigation. With mediation, the parties save time, energy and expense associated with prolonged conflict and litigation. Additionally, the parties equally split the cost of mediation.
Costs are based on an hourly rate or flat fee, depending upon the agreement to mediate. CMP strives to resolve issues in conflict effectively and efficiently to save the parties time and money.
Does a mediator need to be an attorney?
Mediators are not required to be attorneys or therapists. Mediators cannot ethically provide
What is the difference between a mediator and an arbitrator?
The mediator assists in settlement negotiations and does not take sides. Differing from an arbitrator, the mediator does not have decision-making power over the outcome. The parties in mediation create their own solutions.
How do I choose a mediator?
In Texas, the mediator should be trained according to the standards of the Texas Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures Act and may or may not be credentialed.
At CMP, our mediators have received training exceeding Texas requirements and have attained the highest rating as Credentialed Distinguished Mediators.
The parties may select a mediator through referrals, personal research, recommendations by legal counsel or as ordered by the court. It is important to remember that disputants must agree to use the same mediator, and the mediator should not have a conflict of interest with the case or the parties.
Regardless of your selection process, experts caution to choose your mediator carefully. Perhaps the most important decision you make for a successful mediation is who will sit in the neutral chair at the session.
What are the benefits of mediation?
- Mediation is empowering.
Perhaps the most important benefit of mediation is that it gives the parties complete control over the outcome of their disagreement. They can decide what is important to them and craft their own agreement to fit their goals and needs. We encourage attorneys to be present to offer legal advice, but parties are not required to bring legal counsel to sessions.
- Mediation is confidential and private.
With limited exceptions, statements and conduct of parties during mediation are confidential. The parties are able to discuss, vent and negotiate in private. Except for the settlement agreement, mediators destroy all their notes taken during the session.
- Studies show that parties are more likely to follow through with a voluntary joint agreement
they crafted rather than with an order imposed upon them by a third party.
- Mediation saves the parties time, energy and expense associated with prolonged conflict and litigation.
- The parties have equal say in mediation, and there is no determination of guilt or innocence.
- During mediation, parties gain understanding of the other side’s point of view, which allows relationships to be preserved.
- With certain terminology, the parties' written settlement is binding and enforceable as a contract in court.
- When parties use mediation, they still retain the right to use available legal remedies.
What is Co-Mediation?
CMP specializes in helping people settle disputes by using a unique co-mediation process. Rather than one mediator, we use two highly skilled, experienced mediators that work together with the parties. The co-mediation team facilitates both the process and outcome to create an environment where all the parties feel their positions are heard. The co-mediators do not represent either side and remain neutral.
What is the difference between collaborative law and mediation?
Many think that collaborative law and mediation are the same or that any difference in the two is insignificant. Although the methods are similar in that they both have the goal of reaching agreement, each process is very different and offers different options in resolving conflict.
In collaborative law, each disputant hires his or her own attorney; and the attorneys and disputants negotiate an agreement at four-way settlement meetings. The attorneys may speak to each other during the process, and additional advisers (such as, financial or child specialists) and a mediator may be hired jointly to assist in the negotiations. If the parties do not reach agreement, the attorneys and advisers are prohibited from representing either party in court; and the disputants may need to seek resolution through other processes or start over with new collaborative law attorneys. The collaborative law process is mainly used in divorce and family law cases.
In mediation, the mediator works directly with the disputants and assists them in reaching agreement. Parties in mediation share the mediator and create their own solutions. The mediator does not provide legal advice or advocate for either side; and the disputants may or may not have legal representation with whom they may consult. Mediation may take place at any time during a conflict, and disputants may mediate a problem more than once. The types of conflict where mediation may be used include divorce, family, business, corporate, workplace and any dispute that does not need a decision by a third party or requires a judicial determination of guilt or innocence.