The Mediation Process

What is Mediation?

In mediation, a neutral mediator assists those involved in a dispute to jointly explore and attempt to settle their difference.

How Does it Work?

The Mediator:

  • is jointly selected.
  • holds joint and separate sessions with both sides.
  • focuses parties on common interests and steers them away from personality disputes.
  • points out weaknesses in each party's case.
  • narrows issues.
  • facilitates trade-offs.
  • allows parties to "vent."
  • saves parties "face."
  • recommends a resolution.


  • Parties fashion their own settlement voluntarily without dictation by a judge or arbitrator.
  • Parties learn how to resolve their own disputes.


  • Mediation may not result in resolution if the parties fail to settle.
  • A lawsuit may proceed unless the parties reach a settlement agreement waiving future legal claims related to the issue in dispute.
  • Mediation may expose positions and evidence that will be used by the other side at trial if settlement is not reached.