The mediation process creates a space for the generation of solutions that are not available within the legal proceeding framework. It saves you the mental stress of the legal procedure, is quicker and less expensive, and in contrast to the legal proceeding no one can impose a result or a solution that you do not accept. Control remains in your hands.
What is the difference between the role of the attorney and the mediator?
These are two roles that represent two different doctrines. An attorney is commissioned to represent the interests of only one side and he or she are limited to the areas of the judicial playing field. The mediator on the other hand will strive to find the best solution for all parties without limiting him or herself to formal law. Nonetheless, it is not a coincidence that many of the best mediators also have legal education. They are familiar with the legal sphere which helps them better fill their role. Moreover, if the mediation process concludes with an agreement, then, if both parties agree, the agreement reached will be legally valid. Hence, there is an advantage to choosing a certified mediator who is also an attorney.
Isn’t it very expensive?
Not at all. Most of the mediators charge an hourly fee that is similar to that of an attorney. Nonetheless, there are two significant differences such that the mediation process is cheaper and financially worthwhile. The first difference: the cost of the mediation is divided equally between all parties, while in the legal process every party pays the full fee for the attorney that represents him or her. The second difference: in contrast to the legal process, the mediation process usually concludes within only a few meetings in the case of business mediation, and within a series of sessions in couple’s mediation (nonetheless, even in couple’s mediation the cost of the process is very low compared to the alternatives).
What if I don’t want to compromise?
Mediation does not necessarily entail compromise. To the contrary – mediation is not oriented to reaching a compromise, but rather to finding the best possible solution. Since mediation does not have legal validity without the agreement of the parties, no party can be forced to compromise if it does not want to do so. Actually, in the legal route a solution may be imposed on one of the parties who may not be interested in the solution. People often find themselves “surrendering to a compromise offer” with painful elements in the midst of the legal process, based on a feeling that the final ruling will not be in their favor.
So how does it actually work?
The parties will meet at the mediator’s office and every side will be given the opportunity to present his or her claims freely and in a respectful atmosphere. It is important to note that the information disclosed in the mediation process is confidential and cannot be used in a legal proceeding. If necessary, the mediator will meet with each party separately. As part of the process the mediator will help the parties reach points of agreement on disputed issues. If agreement is reached, a formal agreement will be formulated that will receive legal validity after the parties’ approval and signing.
Is it legally valid?
The mediation process itself is dependent on the sole desire of the parties and is not binding. After agreement is reached and approved by the parties, the goal is to translate the agreement into a formal agreement with binding legal validity, similar to any formal agreement. In most cases the parties choose to submit the agreement to the court that will grant it binding legal validity.
What is the difference between arbitration and mediation?
Mediation and arbitration are two separate processes. Arbitration is a legal proceeding. When the parties agree to place the decision in the hands of the arbitrator they no longer have control over the results. In a mediation process, control remains in the hands of the parties until the process is concluded. The mediator can recommend a solution but cannot impose it on the parties.