Mediation FAQ

Helpful Information

Can my case be mediated?*

Typical civil cases that are mediated include business disputes, landlord-tenant disputes, small claims disputes, divorces, child custody disputes and contract disputes. Family cases that are open to mediation include family disputes, divorce, parenting plans, elder care, and end of life planning.

One of the primary reasons to choose mediation over typical litigation is if you are concerned about maintaining an important relationship with the person on the other side. Mediation is more cooperative and collaborative, so it is a good choice for disputes that involve business partners, co-parents, or next door neighbors.

Go to our Services page to learn more about the types of mediation services we offer.

What does mediation look like?*

While there is no formal mediation process, typically mediation will follow these steps:

  • The mediator will introduce him or herself and make some opening comments about the rules and goals of mediation.

  • Each side is given the opportunity to describe the dispute as he or she sees it without interruption from the other side.

  • Depending on the mediator and the parties, the mediator may then start a mutual discussion with both of the parties present or may engage each party privately, going back and forth, working out each issue.

  • After discussing the issues with the parties, a mediator will typically bring both parties together to jointly negotiate a solution.

  • If the negotiation is successful, then the mediator will put down the agreement in writing, advise them to consult a lawyer, and ask them to sign pending their lawyer's agreement.

  • If the negotiation was not successful, the mediator will typically summarize the issues the parties did agree on, and advise them of their rights going forward.

For more information on the mediation process, visit our Home page and What is Mediation? There are also some great articles on our Blog page. To learn more about our mediator, Michele Davda, visit the Meet Your Mediator page.

Do I need a lawyer for mediation?*

Mediation does not require a lawyer; in fact part of the advantage of mediation is the lack of a lawyer and the corresponding legal fees. However, you may want to hire a lawyer as a consultant to offer advice during the mediation which is substantially cheaper than hiring a lawyer to litigate your case. Also, a lawyer should generally be consulted to discuss the consequences of the mediation and any settlement.

For a more in depth discussion on this topic, visit our Blog page.

How long does mediation usually last?*

Statistically, most mediation cases only last a day or two. This is partly because mediation is less cumbersome than litigation, but also because people typically take smaller disputes to mediation and save really large complex claims for litigation. Larger business and divorce/custody mediation may last significantly longer - weeks even - but this is still much quicker than traditional litigation.

Is mediation fair?*

Mediation should result in a fair compromise, because both sides are more able to freely discuss potential problems (mediation does not result in a public record unlike court cases) and neither side is bound unless he or she explicitly agrees to the proposed settlement. This means neither party is bound by the decisions of a judge or jury, and only agrees to what he or she considers fair.

Does Your Voice Mediation Work work with my schedule for consultations and mediations?*

We realize not everyone can attend mediation during the work day. Your Voice Mediation offers evening hours for mediation and phone consultations. Please feel free to Contact Us with specific requests.

*Adapted from "Common Mediation Questions" published by FindLaw.com.