Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), which can be used as a way of resolving a dispute between two or more parties with the assistance of a mediator who acts as a neutral third party and facilitates the process with a view to the parties voluntarily negotiating a settlement of their dispute. In all of the mediations in which I served as a mediator, I have never dictated the solution to the dispute to the parties. I have offered suggestions and ideas that they may not have considered.
Mediation usually has a structure, timetable and process established and agreed by the parties with the mediator which can help it to be a more effective dispute resolution process than a traditional settlement meeting. The process is private, confidential, without prejudice and non-binding, although the objective is to reach a resolution of the dispute by agreeing to binding settlement agreement.
It cannot be stressed enough that mediation is a completely voluntary process where the parties with the assistance and guidance of the mediator reach a solution to a dispute that is satisfactory to all parties. The parties are in complete control of the solution.
About the Author: Ken Strongman (www.kpstrongman.com) has years of experience and a growing national reputation as a mediator and arbitrator. He has successfully resolved more than a thousand disputes in the fields of construction defects, real estate, intellectual property, and employment. He is also a Mediator and Arbitrator for FINRA.
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