Alternative Dispute Resolution
— Mediation —
Is mediation voluntary?
Mediation is usually voluntary although participation is sometimes mandated by contract or by the court. Settlement, however, can never be mandated. When settlement is reached, studies show that mediated agreements are more likely to be complied with than decisions imposed by arbitrators or judges. This success may be because the parties take an active role in the decision-making process.
What is mediation?
Mediation is the process in which a neutral third party (a mediator) assists the parties to a dispute to come to an agreement. Mediators are usually highly skilled, and highly trained in the process of mediation.
The Mediator’s role is to assist the negotiations by helping to establish the ground rules for the discussions and by promoting clear communication. The mediator will remain neutral and does not make a decision for the parties.
How do we get to mediation?
Mediation can occur by agreement of the parties, or by either party making a motion to the Court/Industrial Commission to order mediation. In certain circumstances the Court/Industrial Commission may order mediation on its own. There are costs involved in mediation and the costs are usually shared by the parties in civil cases. The Idaho Industrial Commission has its own trained mediators and their services are available without incurring a fee.
What happens when an agreement is made in mediation?
Once a tentative agreement is reached, the mediator makes sure all parties understand the terms of this agreement. One way this may be accomplished is by having the parties restate the agreement in their own words. The essence of the agreement is then generally documented in writing by an attorney.
Do I need an attorney for mediation?
Attorneys generally attend mediation sessions with their clients. If one side is represented by counsel, the opposing side most certainly should be represented; nothing is served in mediation if one of the parties feels they will be taken advantage of in the process.