Saturday, March 5, 2011

What is Mediation?

Mediation was all over the news this week in Georgia. It was reported that, "The first mediation session in the sexual misconduct lawsuits against Bishop Eddie Long and New Birth Missionary Baptist Church has ended." AJC 3/4/11. But what is medation?

Mediation is an alternate way to resolve disputes without litigation. All types of people seek mediation for a wide variety of issues, in fact, some courts order mediation before a case will be heard.

During a mediation, both parties agree to sit across the table from each other and work out their problem with a trained neutral mediator. Many people find that mediation is very satisfying, results in faster resolution, and is less costly then litigation. Additionally, mediation can be confidential, which means that the details of your mediation are not in the public record like most court cases. However, unlike litigation, a resolution is not guaranteed.

Mediation resolution depends on both party's willingness to reach an agreement. If both parties reach an agreement, a written document is formed and signed holding both parties responsible for their end of the agreement. If an agreement is not reached, additional mediation sessions may be conducted, or the case may proceed through the litigation process in the court system.

Although an attorney is not required for your mediation, it is always helpful to consult with someone who can explain the process and help ensure your concerns are addressed.

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