Weinberger Law

Which type of mediation works best for your situation?

Mediation can help individuals and businesses find an effective, often lasting method of dispute resolution. But mediation is not just a one-size-fits-all solution. While in every case a trained mediator attempts to find common ground and a collaborative solution, there are many approaches.

Facilitative mediation: the traditional method

In facilitative mediation, a mediator steps in and does just that: facilitates conversation between parties. In this method, no resolutions are offered by the mediator. Instead, the parties in conflict are encouraged to engage in productive conversation.

Court-mandated mediation: making a voluntary process mandatory

In some cases, the court can mandate mediation as a way to achieve an expedient and cost-efficient resolution. However, the mediation process is usually effective because both sides are motivated to find an effective settlement—this can be more difficult when one or multiple parties are resistant to the idea, and are merely attending due to a court decision.

Evaluative mediation: when the mediator makes suggestions

In evaluative mediation, the mediator is meant to take stock of the situation and propose potential solutions and recommendations. In this style, rather than simply looking out for each party’s best interests, the mediator may base his or her recommendations more on the legal basis and legal fairness of the situation.

Transformative mediation: an idealistic solution

In this method, the mediator seeks to “transform” each party by helping them recognize the needs and wants of the other.

Med-arb: combining mediation and arbitration

Here, parties first agree to the nature of the process, typically specifying in writing that the outcome of the process will be binding. After negotiating with the help of a mediator, they then attempt to resolve the dispute. If no resolution is reached, the parties can then move on to arbitration, where the mediator can also act as an arbitrator.

Arb-med: arbitration, then mediation

In this method, an arbiter first hears the evidence then writes an award, which is kept sealed. Only after the parties undergo a process of mediation is the award revealed, with the hope that the parties reach the verdict on their own.

These are the most popular mediation styles, and each comes with its own positives and negatives. Those seeking dispute resolutions are encouraged to consults trained attorneys and media

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