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Mediation > Mediation Q & A's




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Q: What is mediation?
A: Mediation is a process for handling conflict in which two or more parties involved in a dispute meet with a neutral, third party mediator to discuss the issues and attempt to reach a voluntary agreement. The process is non-adversarial and informal, but structured.

Q: What kinds of disputes are suitable for mediation?
A: Any dispute in the civil arena, labor-relations or the workplace has issues that can be mediated. Typical mediations deal with issues about business, real estate, the workplace, neighborhoods, landlords and tenants, homeowner associations, families, personal injury, or public policy. There may be legal issues and lawsuits in the case, or there may be no legal action pending or contemplated.

Q: What is the role of the mediator?
A: The mediator facilitates dialogue between the parties to help them develop their own resolution to their issues and concerns. Agreements reached are by mutual consent of all parties. Mediators do not take sides, impose decisions, or give advice.

Q: How does a case reach mediation?
A: Cases reach mediation in a variety of ways. Cases may be self referred by anyone who is involved in the dispute or by the counsel of any party. Cases also are referred by the courts, law enforcement, elected officials, and public agencies.

Q: How much does mediation cost?
A: The cost of mediation depends may depend upon the kind of case but the standard hourly rate for mediation is $300 per hour. Cancellation fees, surcharges for large groups, and other fees may apply. Parties usually split the fees unless other arrangements have been made.

 Q: Who participates in a mediation session?
A: The participants in a mediation session are the actual parties involved in the dispute. There may be only two parties, or there may be a large group of twenty or more. . It is not necessary to bring witnesses. If attorneys have been retained, they are encouraged to attend the mediation to advise their clients.

Participants should have full authority to settle the case at the mediation session.

Mr. Saling must be advised during the intake process of all parties who will attend.

Q: What is the role of attorneys when present at a mediation session?
A: Mediators work directly with the disputing parties who should be prepared to explain in their own words the nature of the dispute. Attorneys are encouraged to attend to advise their clients, clarify legal issues, and help with crafting any agreements.

Q: What materials should be brought to the mediation session?
A: Parties should bring any documents or materials that would be helpful in communicating issues and concerns to each other and to the mediator. Mediation is not a formal legal proceeding, so there is no need to establish official evidence for the record.

Q: Are mediations confidential?
A: Yes. Everyone present at the mediation signs a confidentiality statement before the mediation begins, acknowledging that the mediation is governed by California Evidence Code sections 1115-1128. The California statute provides that statements made during a mediation session are confidential and inadmissible against another party in any subsequent non-criminal proceeding. Also, the mediator is not available to testify as to what was said during a mediation.

Q: Are mediated agreements binding?
A: The parties can make their agreement binding by including a written statement that the agreement is binding and/or admissible in any subsequent civil proceeding. The Mr. Saling has no enforcement powers and does not participate in overseeing the performance of any agreement.

Q: How long does mediation take?
A: Mediations can be scheduled in as little as a few days following the initial contact with the Mr. Saling, depending upon the availability of parties and mediator. A mediation session normally lasts three to four hours. All participants attend the full session although there are typically several breaks and opportunities for private meetings with the mediator and/or with counsel. Most mediations are resolved in one meeting, but subsequent sessions can be scheduled by mutual agreement at the close of each session.

Q: How are mediations scheduled?
A: Contact me and I will be happy to assist you in the scheduling of your mediation.


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