Understanding the Role of the Mediation Service Provider
Mediation is an interactive, structured process in which an impartial third party helps dispute resolution parties resolve a conflict through the use of non-verbal communication and strategic negotiation techniques. All participants in mediation must actively participate in the negotiation process.
In mediation, one party seeks the assistance of a third-party professional to assist them in resolving the legal issues with their attorney, or with another party. In most cases, the mediator works in conjunction with the parties, but there are some cases where one party hires an independent professional. In most situations, the mediation will be confidential, but in other cases, the mediator may share some information about the mediation with other parties that are not involved in the mediation process.
In many cases, both parties hire a mediation service to handle the mediation. In a few cases, both parties and their attorneys choose to conduct the mediation on their own. In these cases, the mediator may work with either party’s attorney or may work with an independent professional.
During the mediation, the mediator’s office is kept at a minimum. They generally do not have set working hours and typically work as much or as little as they want. In most mediation cases, they are expected to be available every day, but not every hour. The mediator’s office may include one or more phones and may also include fax and email.
The mediator’s office may be staffed by one or more members of staff. This is common in cases where one party chooses to hire an independent mediator or to conduct the mediation on their own. In cases where one party hires the services of an independent mediator or conducts the mediation on their own, the mediator’s office may not include one or more members of staff. In some mediation cases, there is no mediator’s office at all, and the mediator works from home or on a mobile basis.
While a mediation process may occur in a courtroom, it is usually arranged so that neither the parties nor their attorneys are present. The parties communicate their terms of the agreement over a telephone or Internet, and the mediator handles the details between them via written agreements and telephone calls.
Most mediation procedures involve a discussion between the attorneys and the mediators, and a third-party mediator to facilitate the discussion and make sure the parties are able to communicate their legal issues during the discussion. A court-appointed neutral party presides over the entire discussion.
Mediation services are sometimes a cost of the settlement, and a number of mediation service providers offer their own pricing structure, depending on the type of mediation. Because the mediation service is often confidential, the cost of each service will differ widely.
Mediators have a number of tools at their disposal, which helps them to better facilitate the negotiation process. When the time for mediation comes, both sides come to the mediation room, either alone or in groups, and prepare their written agreements.
The parties then sit down with their attorneys and discuss any matters that need discussion, such as how to resolve a minor issue. Once the discussion is completed, both attorneys and the mediators create a schedule that is outlined in writing and signed by both parties.
Once the agreement has been drawn up and the parties have signed it, the mediators and attorneys take notes of the discussions, and the agreements that have been drawn up, and send them to their respective clients’ offices. The attorney’s office forwards the written agreement to the client.
If a dispute arises from a discussion between the two parties, the mediation provider’s office may call the parties and ask them to meet with them in order to further explain the discussion and how to resolve the issue. The agreement is final, binding and should not be changed by either party.
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