Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in which a neutral third party, called a mediator, helps two or more parties reach an agreement. The mediator does not make decisions for the parties, but rather facilitates communication and helps the parties to find common ground.
Mediation is a voluntary process, and the parties must agree to participate in mediation before it can begin. The mediator is also typically chosen by the parties, and the parties can choose to end mediation at any time.
Mediation can be used to resolve a wide range of disputes, including:
- Business disputes: These can include disputes between businesses, such as contract disputes or disputes over intellectual property.
- Labor disputes: These can include disputes between unions and employers, such as disputes over wages, benefits, or working conditions.
- Personal disputes: These can include disputes between individuals, such as divorce, child custody, or property division.
The mediation process typically involves the following steps:
- The mediator meets with each party individually to discuss their goals and concerns.
- The mediator brings the parties together to begin the mediation process.
- The mediator helps the parties to communicate and find common ground.
- The mediator helps the parties to reach an agreement.
The mediation process can be confidential, meaning that the parties can choose to keep the details of the mediation private. However, the parties can also choose to have the mediation be public.