Mediation is a process for resolving disputes by which an independent mediator assists the participants in reaching a mutually satisfactory settlement. It is an extension of their own negotiations.
A mediation session involves a discussion of the dispute by the participants. It is not a formal presentation of witnesses and evidence. The session will normally be attended only by the mediator, the participants and their chosen advisers.
Mediation is an informal and voluntary process and can very often be completed in a day or less.
The mediator has no power to force the participants to accept a settlement. The mediator’s role is to assist in negotiations by identifying obstacles to settlement and developing strategies for overcoming them.
A mediation session is private and confidential. It is normally held in a private office or meeting room and no public record is made of the proceedings. If no settlement is reached no part of the proceedings are admissible as evidence in any subsequent litigation.
If an agreement is reached the participants sign a document that is a binding agreement.