What is “mediation?”
Mediation is a dispute resolution process in which a neutral third party assists the participants in reaching a voluntary and informed settlement.
Mediation provides an informal, cooperative context where the parties may fully and efficiently discuss settlements without escalating the conflict.
The mediator helps to identify issues, reduce obstacles to communication, explore settlement options, and foster joint problem-solving.
All agreements are voluntary and are made exclusively by the parties.
All communications and meetings within a mediation are confidential. Communications made in pursuit of a settlement are not admissible as evidence in a legal proceeding.
Mediation has a high rate of success in resolving conflict.
What are the advantages of mediation?
Mediation recognizes that both parties have legitimate need and helps develop options that will successfully reconcile those needs to the satisfaction of both parties.
Mediation is a process committed to self-determination. Its purpose is to promote the identification of issues, explore alternatives for resolution and allow the settlement of issues by the parties themselves.
Mediation helps improve communication between parties and thereby improves future relationships.
A mediated agreement will generally cost a fraction of the cost of adversarial methods -- like litigation.
A party who becomes dissatisfied with the mediation process can withdraw at any time. This ensures that neither party can intimidate or exploit the other party or manipulate the process itself.
How does the West Texas Mediation Center work?
A party interested in mediating a dispute (either the business or the customer) contacts the Abilene Better Business Bureau — the intake coordinator.
The Better Business Bureau invites the other party to take part in the mediation and makes all of the arrangements. A small administrative fee is paid by the parties.
The Center for Conflict Resolution assigns and supervises the mediators. During the mediation, a supervisor from the Center is available at all times.
All mediators are trained and qualified to serve as neutrals in court-appointed mediations. The mediators may be local attorneys or others who have completed specialized training in mediation.
If the parties come to an agreement during the mediation, the mediator may assist in preparing a written agreement, if the parties request it, A mediator will not provide legal counsel for any party to mediation.