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Mediation Principles

Last modified: 3/6/2012 4:10 PM

Voluntary Process:

  • Both parties must agree to participate in mediation.
  • Mediation is a court-referred process, not a court ordered one. Therefore, no party may be forced to mediate nor to agree to terms proposed during a mediation.
  • Participation in mediation does not automatically eliminate the court date. The court date remains in effect and parties are obligated to appear if no agreement is reached prior to that date.

Confidential Process:

  • Parties to a mediation agree to hold in confidence (e.g. not to talk about) all topics and aspects discussed during the mediation with anyone not involved in the mediation.
  • If the parties go to court, they may not subpoena the mediator(s) to testify before the judge as to what transpired during the mediation.
  • All notes taken by the parties and the mediator during the mediation will be collected and destroyed (so that the mediation process may not be used as a tool for preparing for a court appearance).

Good Faith Participation:

  • The parties agree to attend the mediation with an open mind and with the intention of trying to resolve their case before the court date.
  • Parties are expected to cooperate by listening to the other party's perspective. Parties are not expected to concede or to give up something to which they feel rightfully entitled just to make the mediator happy or the process work.
  • If the proposed terms of an agreement are dissatisfactory to the parties, then, at any point during the mediation, they have the right to terminate the process and exercise their right to go to court.