What is Mediation?

Mediation is a well-established, cost-effective, fair, efficient, and confidential process for resolving disagreements. The Mediator, as an impartial third party, helps people in a dispute find a mutually acceptable resolution. Unlike a court proceeding, in mediation, the decision-making authority rests with the parties themselves.

Why Mediate?

  • Cost Effective - Mediation is usually much less expensive than litigation or other more adversarial approaches to conflict resolution.
  • Satisfaction with the Outcome - The parties make all the decisions and control the outcome of the dispute.
  • Greater Compliance - Parties who reach a mediated agreement are more likely to comply with the agreement than when a resolution is imposed on them.
  • Expedited Resolution - Rather than months or years to reach a conclusion through a court proceeding, mediation can be completed within weeks.
  • Privacy - Court proceedings are a matter of public record. Mediation is a private and confidential process.
  • Flexible, Customized Solutions - The parties are free to craft a solution that meets their needs, often involving options not available in litigation. 
  • Maintaining Relationships - Mediation can help parties preserve relationships and maintain the ability to work together in the future.

How Does Mediation Work?

There are no fixed rules governing the process of mediation. Generally, however, there are some common elements to the process.

  • Opening / Introduction - The mediator describes the process.
  • Gathering Information - Mediators ask the parties to describe their view of the dispute and what they may want for a solution. The parties are given a chance to express views in a safe environment. 
  • Identifying Issues - Mediators assist the parties to identify the main issues in dispute and understand each other’s interests and needs.
  • Generating Solutions - Mediators encourage the parties to become problem solvers, look objectively at the issues, and      identify and discuss possible solutions. At times, mediators may use a technique called “caucus” in which they meet with the parties separately to further clarify the parties’ needs and assist with development of options for resolution.
  • Agreement - Once the parties have reached an agreement the mediator will memorialize the agreement.  If represented by counsel, the parties are encouraged to have an attorney review the agreement prior to signing. If a court case is pending, the judge may enter the agreement as a court order.

Who is Qualified to Mediate?

Finding a mediator is not always easy, especially since some individuals who claim to be mediators aren't really qualified. IMA takes this guesswork out of your search. IMA only lists mediators who have attained the required training and experience to be recognized as a Certified Professional Mediator (CPM). All mediators listed are members in good standing with IMA.

Find a Mediator



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