Building Unity • Resolving Conflict • Restoring Justice

What You Need to Know About Mediation
To allow individuals a confidential, non-adversarial way to resolve their differences outside of the courtroom.

What exactly is mediation?
In the mediation process, a trained, neutral facilitator guides the parties, using a specific format, through a conversation designed to resolve their concerns.

What is the role of the mediator?
The mediator attempts to:
•provide an environment in which the parties to a conflict can communicate respectfully and effectively
•help clarify the issues
•help develop options
•help the parties draft an agreement

The mediator will not take sides or give advice.

Who are the mediators?
CACJ has both paid and volunteer mediators; some mediate community disputes and others have specialized training in more comprehensive matters such as victim/offender and custody mediation.

When is mediation useful?
In conflicts involving landlord/tenant, neighbor, contractors, merchants, friends, as well as families going through divorce are all situations in which mediation can help.

What are the advantages of mediation over litigation?
The clients get to decide the outcome of their case.  Mediation mitigates these outcomes given that the communication is between the parties and not through lawyers.
Emotions and issues can be communicated freely. Discussions are confidential. The parties have ownership of the outcome. Mediation strives for a “win-win” solution.
The Mediation Process

Opening Statement: The mediator welcomes the clients. During this stage, the mediation process and confidentiality are discussed and forms are signed.

Uninterrupted Time: Each party is given an opportunity to briefly discuss their view of the situation and to discuss what they hope to accomplish in mediation. Each party should listen carefully without interruption.

The Exchange: Interests and issues are defined, mediator(s) gather necessary information and ask clarifying questions, and parties give additional input as needed.

Separate Meetings: Private meetings with each party may be held throughout mediation as needed, requested by the mediator or by one or both parties.

Setting the Agenda: Issues are listed and organized, and decisions are made about what to discuss first.

Building the Agreement: Each issue is discussed, solutions are brainstormed, with everyone eliciting and evaluating options and testing for agreement. Common ground is sought.

Writing the Agreement: Points of agreement are reviewed, a final copy is written clearly stating each person’s responsibilities, and all parties sign and receive a copy. Sometimes parties are able to reach an agreement on some but not all issues.

Closing Statement: Parties are acknowledged for accomplishments and payment arrangements are made. Any next steps are discussed, such as review of the agreement by attorneys, withdrawal of complaints, etc.
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