Mediation can be used as soon as a conflict arises. Addressing conflict via mediation has been known to restore peace, enhance relationships, and bring cohesiveness to an otherwise divided relationship.
Not all conflict requires litigation. It is best to try mediation before a lawsuit is filed, the litigation process begins, and lawyers initiate expensive discovery processes. Mediation early on can save parties thousands of dollars on legal expenses, time, and stress.
Attorneys are not required to attend mediation. However, an attorney can help you prepare for mediation, provide legal guidance if you have a high-conflict or complex case, and review the Memorandum of Understanding or Mediated Settlement Agreement prepared on agreed issues. Mediators cannot give legal advice, even if the mediator is an attorney.
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Parenting Plan Mediation: Both parents to the child/ren. If pending litigation, a retained attorney may attend but is not required. No children, stepparents, significant others, or anyone else is allowed.
Divorce & Marriage Mediation: Both spouses. If pending litigation, a retained attorney may attend but is not required. No children, significant others, or anyone else.
Family Mediation: Only the adult parties at conflict, up to 4 adults.
One or both parents and stepparents to the child
One or both parents and grandparents to the child
One or both parents and adult child
One or both spouses and in-laws
Other adult family members
Parent/Child Coaching: Sessions are available for family issues regarding minor children that are more age-appropriate, topic-specific, and shorter sessions.
Mediation is a safe place to discuss your conflicts and freely express your feelings without fear that your words will become part of the public record. Therefore, discussions made during mediation are not disclosed outside of mediation, and discussions and materials developed for mediation are not admissible in any subsequent court or other contested proceeding. However, there are some exceptions, such as mandated reporting.
Mediators cannot be witnesses in Court. No subpoenas, summons, complaints, citations, writs, or other processes may be served upon any person or at or near the site of any mediation session upon any person entering, attending, or leaving the session. No stenographic, tape recordings, video or audio recordings, or other electronic recordings of any portion are allowed during a mediation session.
No. Attorneys are not required to attend mediation. Typically, attorneys don't attend mediation unless the situation involves complex issues. They usually will prep with their client before mediation.
You don't have to hire an attorney just for mediation. If a party chooses to retain legal counsel, that attorney's role is to represent their client's interests by advising them and providing legal guidance. Attending a mediation session depends on the participants' preference and other circumstances of their case.
Since rules of evidence do not apply and a mediator does not make findings of facts nor can a mediator impose any settlement on the parties, neither party suffers prejudice if their attorney does not attend.
Definition of Mediation:
Mediation is a process under which an impartial person, the Mediator, facilitates communication between the parties to promote reconciliation, settlement, or understanding among them. The Mediator may suggest ways of resolving the dispute but may not impose his/her judgment on the issues for that of the parties.
Agreement of Parties:
Whenever the parties have agreed to mediation, they shall be deemed to have made these rules, as amended and in effect as of the date of the dispute submission, a part of their agreement to mediate.
Consent to Mediator:
The parties consent to the agreed Mediator in their case. The Mediator shall act as an advocate for resolution and shall use their best efforts to assist the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable settlement/agreement.
Conditions Precedent to Serving as Mediator:
The Mediator shall not serve as a mediator in any dispute in which they have any financial or personal interest in the result of the mediation. Before accepting an appointment, the Mediator shall disclose any circumstances likely to create a presumption of bias or prevent a prompt meeting with the parties. If the parties disagree on whether the Mediator shall serve, the Mediator shall not serve.
Authority of Mediator:
The Mediator does not have the authority to decide any issue for the parties but will attempt to facilitate the parties' voluntary resolution of the dispute. The Mediator is authorized to conduct joint and separate meetings with the parties and to offer suggestions to assist the parties in achieving a settlement/agreement. If necessary, the Mediator may also obtain expert advice concerning technical aspects of the dispute, provided that the parties agree and assume the expenses of obtaining such advice. The Mediator or the parties shall make arrangements for obtaining such advice as the Mediator shall determine.
Commitment to Participate in Good Faith:
While no one is asked to commit to settling their case in advance of mediation, all parties commit to participate in the proceedings in good faith with the intention to settle/agree, if at all possible.
Parties Responsible for Negotiating Their Own Settlement/Agreement:
The parties understand that the Mediator will not and cannot impose a settlement in their case and agree that they are responsible for negotiating a settlement/agreement acceptable to them. The Mediator, as an advocate for settlement, will use every effort to facilitate the negotiations of the parties. However, the Mediator does not warrant or represent that settlement will result from the mediation process.
Authority of Representatives:
Party Representatives MUST have authority to settle and, unless determined otherwise by the Mediator, all persons necessary to the decision to settle shall be present.
Time and Place of Mediation:
The Mediator shall fix the time of each mediation session. The mediation shall be held at the office of the Mediator or any other convenient location agreeable to the Mediator and the parties, as the Mediator shall determine.
Mediation sessions are private. Only parties, and their representatives, shall attend mediation sessions.
The Mediator shall not divulge confidential information disclosed to a Mediator by the parties. All records, reports, or other documents received by the Mediator while serving in that capacity shall be confidential. The Mediator shall not be compelled to divulge such records or to testify regarding any adversary proceeding or judicial forum. Any party that violates this agreement shall pay all fees and expenses of the Mediator and other parties, including reasonable attorney's fees incurred in opposing the efforts to compel testimony or records from the Mediator.
The parties shall maintain the confidentiality of the mediation and shall not rely on it. They shall produce as evidence in any arbitral, judicial, or other proceeding: (a) views expressed or suggestions made by another party with respect to a possible settlement of the dispute; (b) admissions made by another party in the course of the mediation proceedings; (c) proposals made or views expressed by the Mediator; or (d) the fact that another party had or had not indicated a willingness to accept a proposal for settlement made by the Mediator.
No Stenographic Record:
There shall be no stenographic record of the mediation process, and no person shall tape-record any portion of the mediation session.
No Service of Process at or Near the Site of the Mediation Session:
No subpoenas, summons, complaints, citations, writs, or other process may be served upon any person at the site of any mediation session or en route to or from said session upon any person entering, attending, or leaving the session.
Termination of Mediation:
The mediation shall be terminated: (a) by the execution of a settlement agreement by the parties; or (b) by the declaration of the Mediator to the effect that further efforts at mediation are no longer worthwhile.
Exclusion of Liability:
The Mediator is not a necessary or proper party in judicial proceedings relating to the mediation. Neither Mediator nor any law firm employing the Mediator shall be liable to any party for any act or omission in connection with any mediation conducted under these rules.
Slyter Mediation, LLC is not a law firm; Services are not a substitute for legal advice or attorney services. Slyter Mediation, LLC is not an LPC or Licensed Psychologist and does not provide counseling/therapy.
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