Mediation is the resolution of disputes with the help of a neutral person who acts as a facilitator; a mediator does not make a decision for the parties nor does the mediator offer opinions or evaluate.

The mediator helps the parties to identify and resolve the issues.  A mediator can be contacted by the parties themselves or through attorneys.  After an initial organizing conference call in which the session is planned, a meeting is held with the persons with knowledge of the facts and persons with decision-making ability. The mediator guides discussion between the parties, often with the assistance of counsel who are there to help the evaluation of law, as well as the facts.
The job of a mediator includes:
  • explaining the mediation process
  • affording an opportunity to meet together with fact and decision-making representatives
  • assisting the parties to understand and analyze the facts, law, issues and bases for making a decision
  • keeping the parties focused and the process organized
  • helping the parties gain a more complete understanding of  their dispute from all sides
  • facilitating creative and effective solutions  

Whether or not mediation is the right ADR choice for you will depend upon the facts and case. That choice is also dependent upon the disputants' willingness to sit with each other and be guided through an analysis and discussion of the facts and even law.  Mediation challenges people in a dispute to take responsibility for their own choices and solutions. 
Even if mediation is not successful, most participants come away with a better understanding of the conflict and are ready to move forward with the necessary next step.  If mediation is successful, the participants leave feeling more in control and more satisfied with their ability to decide an outcome for themselves.