A mediator is an independent third party appointed or hired to facilitate negotiations between parties in a legal dispute. The mediator does not represent any party on either side.
Mediators are typically attorneys experienced in the relevant practice area or retired judges. A mediator remains neutral throughout the process as an unbiased facilitator, making mediation a great solution or alternative to traditional litigation.
Below are a few important aspects to understanding the role of a mediator:
- Mediators have no authority to order either party to do anything they might not agree with, unlike the judge assigned to your case. They are simply employed to facilitate negotiations and hopefully agreements between the parties – at the end of a mediation, the parties will either have an agreement or they won’t. In contrast, in a normal trial situation, the judge will listen to both sides on a disputed issue and then make the decision on how that issue will be resolved.
- During the mediation, a mediator may go back and forth between sides and play “devil’s advocate” in helping to bring the parties into mutual agreement.
- Although mediators do not have the authority to order anything, they do provide valuable feedback, insight, and analysis of each side’s odds of prevailing on each disputed issue and claim and how the judge assigned to their case may rule based on their experience.
- Any information provided to a mediator by one party can be kept confidential upon request. Both parties can and do often feel much comfortable sharing important information with the mediator that may be helpful in constructing and reaching a fair resolution that they are not willing to divulge or acknowledge to the other side or may not necessarily be relevant in a litigation or trial setting.
To learn more about how mediation could benefit your legal matter, contact the attorneys at OWENS & PERKINS by clicking here or by calling our office at 480.994.8824 to schedule your FREE 30-minute consultation. We remain fully operational while practicing appropriate social distancing and cleaning regimes.