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What Is Mediation And How Does It Work?

Mediation is a procedure in which the parties discuss their disputes with the assistance of a trained impartial third person(s) who assists them in reaching a settlement. A mediator is a person with patience, persistence and common sense. Frank Family Law Practice in Winter Park can assist you're your mediation needs. Cases suitable for mediation are disputes in commercial transactions, personal injury, construction, workers compensation, labor or community relations, divorce, domestic relations, employment or any other matters which do not involve complex procedural or evidentiary issues. Attendance at the mediation conference is voluntary by the parties, except where governed by statute or contract clause.

BENEFITS OF THE MEDIATION PROCESS

There are many benefits to the mediation process. Some of them are:

  • affordability
  • timely resolution
  • private sessions
  • confidentiality
  • participation in the resolution of the dispute
  • preservation of the interrelationship between the parties.
  • The cost of mediation is less than the average cost in time and money for the litigation of a dispute. The mediator's hourly rate is generally lower than the hourly rate for a lawyer.

The Settlement Agreement is the only record of the proceedings. The Agreement to Mediate which is signed by the parties prior to the conference will often remind the parties of the confidentiality of the session and that the mediator is not available as a voluntary witness in a trial of the matter. For more information on the benefits of the mediation process, contact Frank Family Law in Orlando.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The conference is held at a mutually agreeable neutral place. It can be the office of the mediator or another private facility unavailable to spectators. However, the initial mediation may continue with subsequent telephone negotiations between the mediator and the parties where appropriate.

Those present at the session are:

  • the parties
  • their attorneys, if represented,
  • the mediator and others as agreed to in advance.

In community mediations, there are generally many persons present and often there are co-mediators. Parties to mediation may or may not be represented by counsel. When counsel is present the parties may be encouraged to work with the mediators and to confer with the attorneys on legal issues. In general, a protocol with the attorneys is set prior to the session. Attendance at the mediation by the party with the authority to settle is essential. In personal injury or workers compensation mediation, the insurance adjusters must advise the mediator that their supervisor or another person with full settlement authority is readily available by telephone. To speak to someone about scheduling mediation services, give Frank Family Law Practice in Altamonte Springs a call today.

PENALTIES FOR FAILING TO REACH A SETTLEMENT?

There are no legal penalties for failing to settle at mediation. In states where mediation is court ordered there may be penalties for failing to attend the mediation conference and making a good faith effort to settle. When the parties fail to settle, the case may be filed in an administrative agency or court of competent jurisdiction or set for the next action under the forum's procedure. Generally, the only report of an unsuccessful mediation is the referral back by the mediator to the court or agency for further processing. If you need mediation service or want to know more about mediation and how it works, Frank Family Law Practice in Orlando is here to help.