Court-based civil litigation can be slow, public and – often most important -- costly. Mediation is an alternative that allows for discussion and negotiation in a format that is timely, private and significantly less punitive when it comes to cost. The results are often binding settlements where parties prepare and agree terms for themselves.
Mediations are absolutely confidential and conducted without prejudice. No statements, offers, proposals or admissions may be later recalled in court and are subject to the full extent of protection which law permits. At the end of the process the mediator will destroy any preparatory documents in his possession and any notes made during the process. This layer of confidentiality often creates an environment where participants are willing to communicate more freely and productively.
The role of the mediator is as neutral facilitator. The mediator cannot impose a decision or a settlement. Neutral, however, does not mean passive. Mediators will use their skills to provide reality checks on the demands and expectations of the various parties. Participants always remain in control and, should they wish to do so, they can walk away from the process.