What is Mediation?
Mediation is a process that brings the parties to a conflict together to work out a resolution that is agreeable to all of them. The guided conversation can take place with all parties together in one room or with parties (and their legal counsel) in separate rooms. The mediator helps the parties to identify their possible solutions to the issues and assists them in clarifying their interests and then helps them negotiate a mutually agreeable resolution. The parties to the conflict are the ones who make the decisions that become the resolution, they create the settlement agreement.
Who Can Benefit from Mediation?
People in Conflict – whether that be in the workplace, within families or within organizations.
Human Resource Professionals – Improve productivity, reduce absenteeism, increase morale.
Corporate/Business Leaders – Help your employees deal with change. Help your company’s leaders plan effectively and get on board with change. Learn from your employees what their thoughts are for increasing productivity and employee satisfaction.
Elder/Family Law Attorneys – Help your clients find lasting solutions to their current or long running conflicts.
Elders and their Families – as they create plans for care needs and help the elder maintain as much independence as possible.
What’s the difference between Mediation vs Arbitration?
In mediation, the parties are the ultimate decision makers on whether a resolution is possible and what it will contain. In Arbitration, the parties turn over control of the decision to the arbitrator, a trained neutral (often a retired judge or experienced attorney), who then decides how the situation will be resolved. Most arbitrations are binding which means the parties have to live with the decision or litigate its modification.
Who must use mediation (according to Washington State law)?
Many civil proceedings in Washington state courts mandate that the parties attempt to resolve the dispute through mediation before they can obtain a trial date. What court cases are subject to mandatory mediation rules are determined by local superior and district courts. Most larger population counties in WA state require mediation for domestic relations (family law) cases and general civil lawsuits.
How does Mediation fit in with lawsuits / court orders?
Generally, mediation can take place at any stage in a dispute, prior to a court case being filed or once it has been filed and parties are awaiting a court hearing. As noted above, mediation may be a required step before a settlement conference or trail date can be set.
How does Mediation work?
When someone is looking for resources to address a conflict productively, they can call, text or send an e-mail message to Sageland Mediation and Facilitation Service to see if our services are a good fit for your need. Matt Fairbank will contact you to explain the process and learn a bit about the conflict. If you would like to attempt mediation or facilitation through Sageland, we would then talk with you more about the conflict, get contact information for all the parties and thoughts on how it can be resolved. We would then get in touch with them to explain the process and see if they are willing to engage in the process as well. If so, they would be asked to share their perspective on the situation and their possible solutions. All the parties would then be consulted on possible dates/times for the mediation/facilitation to occur. The location for the meeting could be by mutual agreement of the parties. Sageland has access to a law firm’s conference rooms in downtown Yakima and can arrange other neutral locations convenient for the parties.
Why should I choose Mediation over going to court?
Cost: When people mediate, their time and energy is going towards finding resolution rather than fighting a battle. When attorneys prepare for court and take a case to trial, they spend a considerable amount of their time and your money on the case. Even when you have an attorney working with you in mediation, their time spent is much reduced.
Time: Mediation can happen quickly once initiated. Court proceeding can take a long time to get scheduled and then to actually occur. (Criminal cases can bump civil cases off the court docket due to speedy trial requirements.
Emotional Toll: In mediation, acknowledgement of the impact on each party occurs. There can be a healing of broken relationships, apologies, or at least the relief of being done with the conflict. The same seldom gets said about what transpires in the court process.
You are in control: In mediation, the parties are the ones who decide whether an agreement is workable and determine the elements of the settlement based on what they believe is in their best interest and what is feasible. In court, your attorney advocates on your behalf, you seldom speak and the judge makes a decision based on the written documents and the time-limited presentation of the facts.
Mediation Works! 85% of people who participate in mediation resolve all or at least part of their dispute.