What is Mediation
What is Mediation
Mediation is a form of alternate dispute resolution (ADR) that is an informal way to resolve disputes and avoid costly litigation. Instead of a judge ruling on the case, a neutral third party called the mediator resides to hear the case and works to facilitate discussion and negotiation between the parties. The goal of this form of ADR is to help both parties reach a mutually acceptable compromise regarding their dispute. Another difference between mediation and normal court hearings or arbitration is that this form of ADR is not legally binding. For this reason and the fact that mediation is not as expensive as traditional litigation, many commercial contracts require disputes to go through mediation before heading to court. Furthermore, though extremely useful, a person or company in this form of ADR must not be represented by a licensed attorney.
What Happens Before Mediation
Before this form of ADR begins, a lawyer explains to both parties the nature of the process, what to expect, and the relevant law. Additionally, the lawyer must give you information on the applicable laws for your case. This allows you to understand the range of possible outcomes. This is a vital characteristic of mediation as it works to keep realistic expectations between the parties.
What Happens During Mediation
During mediation, lawyers work to assist parties in negotiating although the process is nonadversarial. The goal of the attorney is to assist you in focusing on the possible outcomes. Another area where having an attorney is useful is to stay focused on how to achieve these goals. As stated above, this is a non-binding process. This means if one party is not satisfied with the agreement, the process can be heard at a traditional court.
Contact Our DC Law Office for More Information
For more than 20 years, Antonoplos & Associates has practiced alternate dispute resolutions including mediation and arbitration. We represent clients throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
For more information on our mediation practice area, contact us at 202-803-5676. You can also directly schedule a consultation with one of our skilled attorneys.