Frequently Asked Questions About Mediation:

While no two Mediations are identical, there is a basic framework to the Mediation. Mediation begins with the review and execution of the “Agreement to Mediate” which sets forth the “Rules of Mediation”. This document is provided to the Mediation participants (and their attorneys) for review prior to the session. In part, it explains that the process is confidential and that the Mediator cannot provide legal advice or later be called as a witness for either party. It also sets forth clearly the fee arrangements. 

Mediation participants are provided the opportunity to tell what issues bring them to Mediation. The participants and Mediator engage in a discussion which helps to bring an understand not only of those issues, but what each Mediation participant’s interests are… what is important about those issues to each of them.

With the assistance of the Mediator, all work to create options that address those issues and each participant’s interests. Options are evaluated in an effort to determine which will create the best result that all participants can “live with”.

After the Mediation concludes the Mediator writes a non-binding “Memorandum of Understandings” for the parties to review with their attorneys. Typically, the attorneys will draft a final Settlement that includes the terms of the Memorandum. Upon signing the Settlement the attorneys present the document to the Court having jurisdiction over the matter for approval. Once signed by the Judge, the Settlement becomes legally binding.


How Much Does Mediation Cost?

Most Mediators charge at an hourly rate based upon the actual session time and the time that post session document preparation will require. Fees are usually (but not always) divided equally between the Mediation participants. Fees are usually due at the session.

How long are the Sessions? How Many Sessions are Needed?

Commonly, Mediators schedule sessions for a minimum of two hours. I have found that shorter meetings do not allow enough time for productive work. Longer sessions can be fatiguing for the Mediation participants. Sessions often continue beyond the scheduled time, but rarely end early.

Do Our Attorneys Attend the Mediation?

Attorneys attend approximately 25% of the Mediations that I have conducted. Attorneys are always welcome, but there should be advance notice so that all participants will have the opportunity to bring their attorneys. Whether or not the attorneys attend, all parties should consult with legal Counsel, and review the results of the Mediation with an attorney before executing any Agreements achieved in the Mediation.

Since You Are an Attorney, Why Can’t You Give Us Legal Advice?

Although I have been an attorney since 1980, I am now retired from the practice of law. Even if I were not retired, as a Mediator I cannot be YOUR attorney. Mediators can give legal information to both participants during the session, but cannot give Mediation participants LEGAL ADVICE. Legal information may include such things as how the Court process works, but a Mediator cannot give guidance on what decisions you should make.