Mediation is an alternative to going to court. In mediation, parties voluntarily meet with a third-party neutral intermediary who moderates the discussion between the parties and helps them reach a consensus resolution to their disputes. They can withdraw from mediation at any time. The mediator is less like a judge and more like a facilitator who helps the parties resolve their dispute. He or she does not represent one party or another. Mediators help manage the emotion of the dispute and work to reach a compromise that both parties feel comfortable with. The parties may or may not have their own attorneys.
The advantages of mediation are that it is informal and less expensive and time-consuming than litigation. However, mediation is not for everyone. Mediation is entirely a voluntary process which requires the full participation of all parties. Mediation is also generally non-binding and sometimes there are handicaps that cannot be overcome in mediation. In such cases, collaborative practice is often a good alternative.
If you are currently in a dispute, you might consider mediation before filing a lawsuit. Contact me, California mediation lawyer, Charles D. Stark to discuss ways that professional mediation services can help you get an outcome that works for everybody.
Contact me online or by phone at 707-527-9900 to schedule a consultation about your needs today. My rates are reasonable, either hourly or by flat fee, and I accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.