All about Mediation
What is mediation? Mediation is a dispute resolution process in which a neutral third party (the mediator) assists the parties in resolving their dispute by facilitating negotiation and the sharing of information between the parties. The mediator has no authority to impose a settlement, and the parties are under no obligation to reach agreement, but they usually do reach an agreement and they way they reach is through informed consent. Informed consent occurs when each party is empowered to make their own decisions and to reach an agreement based on a clear appreciation and understanding of the facts, circumstances and potential future consequences, as well as the potential future benefits, of their decisions. Under circumstances such as when a business is being formed, a pre-nuptial agreement is being considered, a construction project is initiated, or an adoption is being contemplated, ideas may be in conflict, personal and joint goals as well as value and potential outcomes need to be addressed. Parties may have alternate points of view and can be as concerned about not alienating the other party as they are of protecting interests. Mediation can assist parties address each of these factors. If the matter involves the break-up of a business, a landlord-tenant dispute, a dispute over the disposition of assets after a loved one has died, or the dissolution of a marriage, relationship breakdown will always involve financial and emotional costs, but these factors can be addressed and minimalized through mediation. In fact, the majority of conflicts people encounter can benefit from skilled and guided mediation. Further, mediation can serve to engender and enhance communication and decisions making skills for each party involved in the process. The Benefits of Mediation include: •Mediation can help minimize the financial and emotional costs for all concerned. •You can reach agreements that are practical, realistic, forward-looking, fair and reasonable. •Costs can be shared or apportioned between parties and mediation fees are affordable, especially in comparison to litigating matters. •It is not always necessary to come up a retainer, and mediators fees can often be paid on an as needed, per consultation basis. •The process is focused on your concerns and each parties interests equally with the goal of reaching an agreement that is driven by the actual parties involved in the matter and not through the imposition and argumentation of attorneys or court orders. •The emphasis is on dispute resolution, working together and on not dispute escalation. •Relationships can be maintained and sustained in a healthy, rather than combative or destructive, matter. •Difficult subjects can be addressed openly in a safe and structured environment. •The mediator is neutral and while they do not assist any particular party in advocating their position, the mediator can assist each party in articulating and determining their interests in a given matter. •Discussions can be as basic or as in depth as necessary so that each party is informed and each party can make their own decisions. •The process is voluntary and confidentiality can be maintained. During the mediation process: •You treat each other with respect. •You agree to resolve issues without going to court. •You remain in control of the process but with your mediator there throughout for guidance and to act as the facilitator for negotiations. •Settlement is reached through discussions and interest based negotiations. •Information is shared and open disclosure is encouraged in the mediation process. •If your mediator is an attorney, such as Attorney Nora Daniels, the mediator can prepare the court documents for you. •Mediation proceedings are generally private and confidential. The Massachusetts statute regarding mediation confidentiality is located at: http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/233-23c.htm If you would like to learn more about how your matter can benefit from mediation you can contact Nora Daniels directly though this website or call us at (781) 444-8888..