What is mediation?

Mediation is a process in which a mediator facilitates communication and negotiation between parties to assist them in reaching a voluntary agreement regarding their dispute. UCA 78-10-102(1). A mediator is simply an independent third party who listens to both sides and helps the sides determine if there is a compromise that is acceptable to both sides.

Mediation is not binding arbitration where a final decision is forced upon the parties. Mediation is also not litigation where a judge or jury makes a final decision. Accepting a resolution in mediation is voluntary. However, please note that many courts require you to attend mediation before a trial can be had. This is because courts have found that often times people can resolve their differences without the expense of full blown litigation.

Mediation works best when you approach the mediation process calmly and methodically. Prepare the documentation and statements that you feel advance your point of view in the dispute. If possible, provide those to the mediator ahead of time. During mediation, try to stay calm and business-like. Name calling, rude comments, etc. are not appropriate in a mediation scenario.

Attorneys are not required for mediation. Mediation is an informal process. However, attorneys are also not prohibited in a mediation. It is a personal decision whether an attorney is desired.

When a mediation is scheduled, the anticipated amount of time for the mediation is requested. Mediation is charged on an hourly basis based on the number of hours actually used, not the number requested. Payment is required at the time of mediation. Each party pays one half of the mediation costs. Each party pays all of their own attorney costs.

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