September 21, 2023

Mediation services help resolve conflicts without the expense and stress of a legal fight. A trained mediator acts as neutral facilitator who helps disputants design a voluntary, mutually beneficial resolution to their conflict. The goal is to preserve important personal and business relationships. Mediation provides an opportunity to talk about underlying issues that may not be addressed in a court case. It also allows both sides to incorporate those areas into solutions that they devise themselves. Studies have shown that people who participate in a mediated agreement are generally more satisfied with its outcome than those who have a judge decide for them.

How mediation works

A mediator will meet with you and your opponent in a private setting, usually at the mediation office. During the first session, you and your lawyer (if you have one) will describe your side of the story to the mediator. The mediator will ask questions, reframe the situation and offer suggestions to help you move toward a solution. You will have the opportunity to share any information you think relevant to the case, but the mediator does not take sides, give legal advice or reveal confidences.

A typical mediation is completed in a few hours or less, and costs significantly less than going to court. Most installation Legal Assistance offices provide mediation services free of charge. Nonmilitary mediators charge a fee comparable to lawyers’ rates.

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