Mediation is an informal process where a mediator aids in the resolution of a dispute. The mediation process identifies important issues, clarifies misunderstandings, explores solutions, in an effort that allows the parties to enter into a settlement. The mediator is not a judge and does not make a decision or impose a solution on the parties. Rather, the mediator helps those involved in the dispute talk to each other, thereby allowing them to resolve the dispute themselves, the mediation process. The mediator manages the mediation session and remains impartial. https://www.tncourts.gov/programs/mediation.
As the nation’s courtrooms become overloaded with various types of actions being filed every day, mediation is becoming a welcomed way to resolve issues between parties. Mediation has many advantages which includes the cost of the procedure, confidentiality of the mediation, and the control it gives the individuals (not in the hands of a judge or jury) to resolve the dispute themselves. The cost of a trial can become staggering when one has to begin paying for various depositions in preparation for trial and the costs for experts (if needed). A mediator charges an hourly rate that is usually comparable to an attorney fee. Most cases are resolved by a mediator in a few hours, although some more complicated matters may take longer and include more than one mediation session.
What can be mediated? The list of the types of cases or disputes that can be mediated is endless, but generally, divorce and family law, business contracts, landlord and tenant disputes, employer and employee (i.e., wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, etc.), personal and real property, school conflicts, various civil matters (i.e., car accidents, slip and falls, products liability, medical malpractice).
A mediation can either be agreed upon between the parties to see if they can resolve their issues or in some cases the judge in a case that has been filed will order the parties to attempt mediation before proceeding with trial.