Mediation FAQ

If our lawyers are dedicated to helping us achieve a settlement, why should we invest in mediation?
In some cases, lawyers of both clients are able to work together to settle the case quickly and inexpensively. In this situation, mediation is not needed. However, a lawyer will very rarely be able to act as a mediator and a lawyer at the same time. If only the attorneys do the communicating, then the parties themselves are not given an opportunity to communicate directly with each other to make their own agreement. Mediation is better suited at rehabilitating and maintaining the personal relationships of both parties after settlement as opposed to simply reaching a settlement.

Since mediators do not give legal advice, how can parties reach an agreement without sufficient knowledge of the law?
A neutral mediator should not give legal advice during a mediation session. In this respect, the mediator will not influence the parties’ decision nor instruct them on what action they should take. However, a mediator can give general legal information without influencing decisions of the parties, such as tax laws, guidelines, statutes, and standard procedures. Independent family attorneys can be beneficial for clients hoping to gain legal advice or education in addition to their mediation sessions.

What kind of cases can be mediated?
Generally, mediation will focus on resolving civil cases. These include business disputes, contract disputes, child custody disputes, landlord and tenant disputes, small claims, and divorces. The majority of clients choose mediation primarily because they are interested in improving or maintaining the current social or business relationship that is possessed by the parties. Mediation allows the conflict resolution process to be more collaborative and cooperative, which reduces the amount of conflict that remains between the parties after the agreement has been made.

How long does mediation last?
Most cases of mediation do not last more than a few days. Mediation is less complex and time consuming than litigation, and most individuals use mediation for smaller disputes that can be resolved quickly and efficiently. Some mediation cases involving business disputes, custody disputes, or divorces can take longer and may last up to a few weeks.