The mediation process involves a collaborative conversation in a safe space where participants may resolve their dispute on their own terms. The neutral mediator through a facilitative mediation process of inclusion assists participants in an in-depth, person-centered, confidential discussion of their concerns. The mediator encourages participants to say all they want and need to say that reflects their needs and interests.
After accepting a case for mediation, usually through an informal contact by telephone or electronic means, some preliminary information is obtained about the conflict. We discuss with each participant, the mediation process, mediator confidentiality, the agreement to mediate and the fee arrangement.
In general, the confidential mediation procedure follows a relatively straightforward agenda toward collaboratively reaching the goal of common understanding - common ground - about what led to the conflict. The conversation then turns to generating ideas about resolution of the dispute that meet the interests and needs of the participants.
Explanation of Mediation
Interests - Needs
Creative Ideas - Possible Solutions
Arbitration provides a quasijudicial-private litigation process where the participants fully present factual evidence and argument to the selected arbitrator in a semi-formal environment. The arbitrator uses the normal rules of evidence as guidelines only for consideration of the facts brought forth by the participants. The arbitration procedure includes the opportunity for participants as part of their overall case to present pre-hearing or post hearing briefs of the facts and the legal issues. The arbitrator hears the evidence, considers the legal arguments based on the facts presented, and issues an award-decision.