Mediations ADR Mediator

Mediation FAQ’s:
Questions and Answers

How does mediation assist in the resolution of conflict (disputes)? Where can you find a good mediator? Is mediation affordable?  These and other frequently asked questions are discussed, below.

Please see our ADR article on “What Makes a Great Mediator” for additional information on alternative dispute resolution. Thank you.

“A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that
everyone believes he has the biggest piece.”

— Ludwig Erhard

Frequently Asked Questions About Mediation

What exactly is mediation? Mediation is an informal, yet structured negotiation with an independent, neutral third party, (the mediator), facilitating the process.

How does mediation assist in the resolution of conflict? In a mediation, each participant is given the opportunity to explain his position and perspectives as they relate to the underlying conflict. Each person must listen to and reflect upon the other’s viewpoint, and in many cases, engage in certain techniques which confirm that he understood. The ultimate goal is to have each participant empathize with the other’s perspective, even if only slightly.  Empathy fosters trust, enlightens all the participants and is an essential element in approaching resolution.

Is mediation affordable? Mediation is very affordable!  Most mediators charge between $100.00 and $300.00 per hour, divided equally between the parties.  (Retired judges often  charge more than $300.00 per hour).  Compared to the extraordinarily high cost of litigation, coupled with its accompanying one to two years of emotional and personal involvement and ultimate uncertainty, mediation is a bargain. 

Is mediation effective? Mediation is very effective.  Although statistics may vary among organizations and regions, more than 87 percent of all disputes are settled in mediation.

Aside from its (relative) low cost and high settlement numbers, why else would you choose mediation?

PrivacyThe process of mediation is confidential as it relates to all participants, including attorneys and the mediator, herself.  Therefore, anything that is discussed in the mediation is confidential.  Any documents that are exchanged in the mediation are confidential.  Any legal or other theories advanced in the mediation are confidential.  Mediation is not a matter of public record, and therefore, the participants’ privacy is secure and sacrosanct.

Control over the outcomeNo judge sitting on high in a black nightgown will decide the fate of your dispute.  No jury of your peers will be holding your future in their hands.  You have the unique opportunity to “tell your side of the story”, without lawyers objecting that what you’re saying is inadmissible for some reason.  You, along with the mediator, can have the experience of “building a bridge” to your opposition, essentially crafting your own resolution for your dispute.

Preserving a friendship — Some relationships are important to resurrect or maintain intact.  Business partnerships, relationships of long standing, among others, are often stabilized and preserved as a result of the mediation process.  Try accomplishing that with litigation.

Personal Responsibility — In the mediation process, good mediators frequently encourage the participants to assume personal responsibility for their respective roles in the underlying conflict.  This means, among other things, not blaming others, fate or the gods for your part in the dispute.  This means, among other things, admitting your own fault for the conflict, (even if only done privately with the mediator). This is an extremely important concept.  Why? Because it is instrumental, perhaps the first step, in reversing the cycle of conflict.  Why?  Try this: after you have fully admitted to yourself your role in a particular conflict situation, try blaming someone (or something) else for your role.  See what I mean?

Who wins, who loses in a mediation? — Excellent question!  If the mediation is conducted under the aegis of a competent mediator, both sides “win” — neither “loses”.  That does not mean, however, that both sides walk away from the mediation necessarily happy or content with the outcome.  Do you recognize the following phrases? 1) Even a poor settlement is better than the best fight; 2) Each side needs to be at least a little bit unhappy with the result: that means that each side gave up something of value to the other; 3) Closure and certainty are everything!

Is mediation legally binding? — Although the mediation process itself is voluntary, i.e., non-binding, the ultimate resolution (settlement) becomes binding and legally enforceable by virtue of specific language included in the executed agreement reached between the parties.

Who are the mediators for JAMS?  Mediators serving on the JAMS’ national roster of neutrals are experienced, competent, objective and impartial. They possess a judicial temperament and patience and are respected in the community for their integrity. They have an abiding commitment to resolving disputes. Linda Fritz, Esq. is one of them.

The Conflict Resolution network conducts hundreds of mediations, arbitrations, conflict strategies, dispute management settlements and neutral fact finding engagements each year.

Linda Fritz, Esq., Principal of ConflictResolution.com,  in the role of sole or panelist arbitrator, has conducted more than 600 arbitration cases. Additionally, Fritz has mediated in excess of 1,000 real estate, business, mass tort claims and other disputes involving complex issues and multi-party proceedings.

The purpose of our company is to assist you in your quest to understand the nature of conflict.

San Diego Mediator – Mediation Lawyer

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