What is mediation and how can it help you?
Mediation is a way of helping you resolve disputes without having to incur the time and expense of going to court. In mediation, a neutral third-party will meet with the parties to a dispute to help them resolve that dispute in a mutually-agreeable manner. It is a voluntary, confidential process and you waive none of your legal rights if you do not resolve your dispute. If you do resolve your dispute, though, that resolution is legally binding and enforceable.
There are several types of mediation and the “best” style depends upon the dispute being mediated. While Klein Mediation Center utilizes a variety of styles custom-fit to each client, the most common type of mediation we practice is called “facilitative mediation.” In facilitative mediation, the parties and the mediator begin the session together. The mediator helps facilitate communication between the parties and helps them as they craft their own resolution. The mediator may choose to meet with the parties separately at some point during the mediation, called a “caucus,” but the parties typically reconvene after a caucus for further discussion. In many cases, mediation is the last time the parties will have complete control over how their dispute turns out, so mediation is your chance to be creative in how you resolve your dispute.
What types of disputes are right for mediation?
Nearly any type of dispute is appropriate for mediation. Everything from small claims to multi-million dollar disputes are resolved through mediation every day. Disputes arising from divorce and family law cases, contracts, probate, and business disputes are a few types of disputes that are commonly mediated, but the process only requires parties that are willing to try the process in good faith.
Do I need a lawyer for mediation?
You do not need a lawyer in order to mediate, although you are welcome to retain counsel. If you are not represented, though, it is important to know that the mediator is not representing you, even if they are an attorney. The mediator is a neutral third-party and will not be taking sides, nor are they permitted to give you legal advice. If you have any legal questions or concerns, we recommend you do retain counsel.
How much does mediation cost?
Mediation costs vary depending upon a variety of factors, including complexity of the case, amount in controversy, and skill of the mediator. At Klein Mediation Center, our general fee is $250/hour, which is typically split equally between the parties ($125/hour per person if there are two parties).
This fee does not include any costs incurred, although those are typically minimal. In the case of referrals from governmental agencies, corporations, federal courts, appellate courts, or elsewhere, the fee will be determined based upon the nature and complexity of the dispute.
Do I have to mediate?
More and more courts are recognizing the value of mediation as an efficient means of resolving cases, so they will often order cases into mediation. If that is the case, you will be required to attend mediation, although you will typically have control over who mediates your case and you are not required to settle if you are not yet ready. If no law suit has been filed, though, mediation is completely voluntary. Parties to a dispute often find that mediation, when entered into in good faith, can resolve in a few hours disputes that otherwise might have taken months (or longer) to resolve through litigation.
Is mediation confidential?
All communications with the mediator are protected by confidentiality with only a few limited exceptions. If your case is ordered into mediation by a judge, the mediator will file a status report with the judge that indicates whether the parties appeared, who appeared, whether an agreement was reached, and whether further mediation is recommended. That is all. A mediator may break confidentiality, however, if they believe one or more of the parties plans to commit a crime, if they believe violence is involved, if one of the parties is threatening or intimidating a vulnerable person, or if ordered by a court.
Klein Mediation Center was founded on the idea that there is a better way to provide mediation services. We believe in finding peaceful and productive ways to resolve disputes and we want to provide a positive and memorable experience to everyone we work with.
- (734) 748-2777
580 Forest Ave.
Plymouth, MI 48170