FranklinSolutions offers:  mediation and conflict management services, and facilitation of important discussions


Jeanne Franklin
fax: 703.533.8977

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Quick Facts About Mediation

 A Useful Way to End Disputes


Q. What is Mediation?
An effective, voluntary process facilitated by a third party neutral mediator. Two or more disputing parties can resolve their arguments in a confidential forum with a result they choose.

Q. Why is Mediation often a good choice for dispute resolution?
It is private, voluntary, less expensive than litigation, and the parties control the final outcome. There are more creative­ outcomes possible in mediation than in a court setting. Mediation helps parties see the matter in ways different from their previous, set positions.

Not every dispute can be handled in mediation.

Q. Is Mediation successful?
Very successful. Agreements are reached in the majority of situations. Sometimes parties do not reach written agreements but if they discover a new way of viewing the matter or dealing with each other, they still find the mediation worthwhile.

Q. What's a good way to choose a Mediator?     
Pick someone who has experience in mediation process, has a well known reputation as fair, trustworthy, and firm (a good manager of people and process), and someone with strong communication skills such as listening. A background in legal issues and conflicts can be an important credential to help the mediator grasp what the dispute is about, when it is a legal one, and move the parties toward better communication.

Q. Do Mediators decide the dispute?
No. The mediator remains a neutral, impartial facilitator who puts the parties in a position to communicate better and decide upon their mutual resolution.

Q. Does the Mediator give the disputing parties legal advice?
No. The mediator is ethically prohibited from doing so by rule of the Virginia Supreme Court. Parties may have their legal representatives in mediation, and parties have a right to have any agreement they reach reviewed by a lawyer of their choice before signing a final agreement. A mediator may provide information that would help the parties take a fresh look at things or check the reality of their positions.

Q. How long does Mediation take?
It depends upon the particular matters in dispute and also on what the parties want to get done in the mediation. In more complicated disputes the mediation can be structured to last all day, or can be broken into phased meetings. Much depends upon the people involved, their expectations, the dispute, and the mediator's instinct as to what will help get the job done.

Q. How much does Mediation cost?
Generally, the mediator is paid an hourly rate split between the parties in mediation. The mediator also charges for costs incurred.