What is mediation?
Mediation is a highly effective form of settlement conference in which a trained and skilled neutral (the mediator) facilitates communication, reconciliation and negotiation between the parties, in order to achieve the voluntary and mutually acceptable resolution of disputes.
How long does mediation take?
Most cases can be resolved in one full day mediation session of 6-10 hours. Many AAM members also offer half-day sessions for less complex cases.
What goes on at a mediation session?
There are two types of meeting that occur:
1) the joint session where all party representatives and their attorneys meet with the mediator and outline the basic issues and contentions of the case; and, 2) the caucus - private and confidential meetings between the mediator and each of the parties and their attorney(s).
What does it cost?
The cost varies depending upon the mediator, the complexity of the case, the amount in controversy and the number of parties.
How well does it work?
AAM's 300+ mediators have assisted the parties in settling a substantial percentage of the reported 300,000+ cases mediated by them since 1989.
What if the mediation does not result in a settlement?
The parties lose nothing. They may still go to court to resolve their case and what they learn about their case may help the case settle later. Follow up studies show that about two thirds of the cases that did not initially settle in mediation do settle before trial.