Mediation Myths and Misconceptions
Stand-by mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and can be useful during negotiations that may want to avoid litigation. A mediator is trained to recognize opportunities to find an acceptable settlement for all participating parties and to ease the process to negotiation.
Common Myths about Mediation
- ?I can?t bring my attorney to mediation sessions?
Attorneys are encouraged to come to sessions and make use of their experience and knowledge of the criminal justice system, especially since mediators can not give you legal advice. It?s also recommended that your attorney looks over any settlement agreements that may arise.
- ?I?m not allowed to consult with outside experts to help me in my decision-making?
You are allowed to consult with whichever professionals you feel would be helpful at anytime. The mediator is just one of the professionals available to help you.
- ?A judge will make a decision for free, so why should I pay for a mediator??
Mediators assist the parties in making a decision rather than make it for them. They can help keep sensitive issues private and a session can usually be scheduled much quicker than a court date. There also could be fees or fines when you take an issue to court. Additionally, standy-by mediation typically costs less than attorneys.
- ?Litigation seems like the only way to resolve the dispute?
With the help of an experienced mediator, between 70% and 80% of disputes can be settled without legal proceedings. Even with people who say they will not agree with one another, or even don?t want to speak to or see each other, negotiation is possible.
- ?Since we?re not going to court, I don?t have to worry about preparing my case?
You won?t know what?s going to happen until you arrive to the session. You may go in thinking you won?t settle, only to find yourself signing settlement paperwork after one session with a mediator. You don?t have to prepare as much as you would if you were going to court, but you should still ensure you fully understand the case.
- ?Mediation can only be used in certain types of cases?
Stand-by mediation can be used for almost any case including civil rights cases, employment discrimination, and personal injury litigation.
- ?Once court is in session, it?s too late to mediate?
Although it?s usually more beneficial to mediate before going to court, mediation can be requested at any time, even if the other side doesn?t want to mediate.
- ?If mediation doesn?t help produce a settlement, the other side will know my entire case which can be used against me in court?
During litigation, both parties are required to reveal their arguments and documents if requested, so it?s inevitable either way.
Stand-by mediation can be a helpful solution when wanting to avoid litigation. The mediator is responsible for making sure both parties understand one another and to hopefully come to a solution that is beneficial for both parties.