The word “mediation” refers to a process in which a trained impartial person, called a mediator, helps people in conflict to talk with one another and reach their own solutions. Mediation is an alternative to going to court. It’s a voluntary process that can only result in a settlement when all participants are willing to agree to it. Courts may require parties to participate in mediation before they go to court, but the courts cannot force them to agree to any specific outcome of the mediation.
The key to mediation is that it allows disputing parties to focus on underlying issues in the dispute, rather than legal concepts such as fault and violation of rights. It’s a process that can also allow disputing parties to create an outcome that does more than simply vindicate their rights, but can actually create value for both parties in the future.
In the context of business and commercial disputes, the goal of mediation is to find a solution that satisfies both parties in the form of a contractual agreement. Often times, such an agreement does more to restore relationships between businesses than any formal hearing in court could.
Family law cases, such as divorces, child custody and spousal support issues are also commonly settled through mediation. In addition, employment disputes between supervisors and employees and contract issues between parties in a business deal are common cases that can be resolved in mediation. Mediators are specially trained in working with difficult situations and offer relationship-building as well as substantive assistance to the parties. what is mediation