What is Mediation?

Mediation is a flexible, non-binding dispute resolution process in which a neutral third party (the mediator) assists two or more disputants to reach a voluntary, negotiated settlement of their differences. The parties have ultimate control of the decision to settle and the terms of resolution. The mediator uses a variety of skills and techniques to help the parties reach a settlement, but has no power to make a decision. The parties remain the decision makers.

Mediation is generally referred to as an interest-based process – in contrast to a rights-based process – because it is designed to help the parties clarify any underlying motivations or interests. The mediator also may help the parties prove the strengths and weaknesses of their legal positions, enhance communications, explore the consequences of not settling, and generate settlement options. Mediation sessions sometimes result in creative solutions, including those where both sides can profit from the settlement terms. Thus mediation changes the disruptive, zero-sum game into a value-creating situation. Mediation sessions also are generally confidential. The parties sometimes enter into formal confidentiality agreements before the start of the mediation. Such agreements can preclude a party from later using in litigation or arbitration the documents or information obtained during mediation which they did get elsewhere. This confidentiality provision is often a part of mediation law and such a confidentiality agreement is not necessary. Also the parties often meet with the mediator separately, which encourages them to share some of their sensitive information.

Contact us now in Cork to find out more about our mediation services and our approach to alternative dispute resolution.