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What is Mediation?

Mediation is a voluntary process in which a third party works with people in conflict to help them change the quality of their conflict interaction from negative and destructive to positive and constructive as they discuss and explore various topics and possibilities for resolution.

What is "transformative mediation"?

Transformative mediation is a conflict resolution approach wherein the mediator fosters empowerment and recognition among disputing parties, allowing them to actively engage in open dialogue. Instead of focusing on problem-solving, the emphasis is on self-determination and understanding each other's perspectives. The process aims to transform individuals and their relationships, promoting personal growth and enhancing the overall communication between parties.

What is the difference between mediation and arbitration?

Mediation involves a neutral third party facilitating communication and helps disputing parties reach a consensus on their own. On the other hand, arbitration has a third party responsible for resolving the dispute by making a binding decision after considering evidence and arguments.

How long is the mediation process?

This is dependent on the parties and the complexity of the issues being resolved. One session may be enough or multiple sessions could be required. The length of the process is always subject to the approval by all parties and can be affected by each party’s emotional state and willingness to reach an agreement.

What results can I expect?

Any resolution is determined by the parties themselves. You may decide to reach a settlement, or an agreement, or you may not, that is your choice. Other outcomes are possible, and may be equally important to you, such as reaching a better understanding of each other, of your situation, and of your choices.

Is mediation legally binding?

Mediation is non-binding. The mediator facilitates communication, but the parties decide whether to accept the resolution. A mediated agreement can become the basis of a enforceable document or can be filed in a court of law. However, the mediator cannot force the parties to abide by whatever agreement is reached during a mediation session.

What is your cost structure?

We charge by the hour and usually have a 2 or 3 hour minimum. There may also be a need to have a pre-mediation consultation with each party individually. These consultations are also charged at the same hourly rate. No retainer is necessary but pre-payment is required

Do you provide legal advice?

Metis Mediation Services does not provide legal advice of any kind. Our services do not constitute the basis of an attorney-client relationship. We advise all of our clients to consult with an attorney for any legal questions that they may have either during or after the mediation process.

Are the mediation sessions in person or virtual?

It is possible to conduct mediation sessions in person at a mutually acceptable location. It is more common to use a video call service such as Zoom, Teams, or Skype. The method of communicating is decided by the parties involved.

What happens if the mediation session becomes very emotional?

It is not uncommon for parties in dispute to become angry or emotional during the process and for a complete breakdown in communication to occur. Very often, it is necessary for one party or the other to release such energy before the process can continue. We are trained to handle such situations and have the techniques to help the parties re-engage. Some circumstances may require individual caucuses, short breaks or, even, rescheduling the session.  We do our best to allow the parties to express themselves freely and in a safe environment while guiding them to a more constructive path.

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