When should you mediate a case?

Every case is different but generally you should consider mediation when the parties have expressed a desire to resolve the case and there is sufficient information for each party to evaluate their case.

Why should I mediate a case?

Most lawsuits resolve without the use of a mediator. However, a mediator can help the parties resolve their cases where certain problems exist. For example, multi-party cases, cases with emotional issues, poor communication between the parties, great disparity in case value, conflicts of interest,and client control problems are situations where a mediator can often help the parties resolve their case. Sometimes a mediation simply provides an opportunity for the parties to meet and work together to try and resolve thier case

How do I select a mediator?

Parties select a mediator for their reputation and effectiveness in resolving cases. You should consider the types of problems you need a mediator's help for in your case. The mediator's legal background and mediation experience in different types of cases should be reviewed. Talking to parties who have used the mediator is an excellent source of information about the mediator's ability to mediate effectively. You can check with other lawyers, Google a mediator, or check Martindale Hubbell for names of potential mediators.

What is the current Ohio Law on Mediation?

Ohio adopted the Uniform Mediation Act in 2005 and it applies to all mediations conducted in Ohio. You should familiarize yourself with the Act before mediating, especially the provisions on confidentiality, privilege, and mediator disclosure. Your mediator should alert parties to specific parts of the Act that could impact your mediation.

Who should attend the mediation?

At a minimum, the parties and their counsel should attend the mediation. In addition, the insurance adjuster or company representative should also attend in cases involving their company. It is often helpful to have a family member or friend attend the mediation to assist the party in making their decision. Counsel should determine if other persons should attend the mediation or be available by telephone to insure that the mediation will be productive. Everyone attending the mediation should be available for the entire day if necessary.

How should I prepare for mediation?

The parties must first insure that they have the necessary information and documentation involving the main issues in the case. It is imperative that counsel meet with their client to review and discuss the case, explain how mediation works and potential settlement outcomes. Counsel should provide the mediator with sufficient information about the case facts, issues and problems. The client should be prepared to participate in the mediation: by listening closely; speaking concisely, and thinking about what occurs at the mediation. Sometimes it is helpful for the client to prepare a written statement or notes with help of counsel so their concerns and interests are addressed at the mediation.

How can a Mediator help resolve my case?

An experienced mediator will be able to identify the problem areas of the case and then work with the parties towards a resolution of the case. A mediator will use general sessions, private caucuses, and other techniques to effectively address the areas of concern and disagreement. Since the mediation caucuses are confidential, the mediator can have private candid conversations with each side on the case issues, and their respective strengths, weaknesses, goals and concerns. A mediator can propose different approaches and ideas for the participants to consider at the mediation.

How long does mediation last?

A private mediation generally lasts from four to eight hours depending on the number of parties in the case, the complexity of the case, and the particular problems to be addressed at the mediation. Generally if the parties come to a mediation prepared and engage in candid communication with each other, a mediation will progress quicker than when the parties do not communicate effectively. Sometimes a mediation may require more than one mediation session scheduled over several days for the case to resolve.

What happens if the case does not settle at the mediation?

When a case does not settle at mediation, the mediator and the parties will often continue to communicate by telephone in an effort to resolve the case. Since mediation is informal, additional time to think about a settlement after the mediation, can help the parties make their decision.

How does Mediation work?

The mediation generally begins with an opening session with all the attendees present with the mediator. Usually the mediator will explain their role as mediator and how the mediation will proceed. Then each party presents a short summary of their perspective of the case. Private caucuses or meetings with each party usually occur next. Thereafter, the mediator may reconvene with different groups of the parties in an effort to address the specific issues identified at the mediation.Since mediation is an informal and flexible process, a mediator will tailor the process to meet the specific issues at the mediation. A good mediator will encourage suggestions from the parties on what approaches might be helpful at the mediation. This process usually continues until the case resolves or an impasse is reached.

Will anyone know what happened at mediation?

Usually no one will know what happens at the mediation. Although confidentiality is optional under the Uniform Mediation Act, most mediations are kept confidential by the parties' agreement.. Such confidentiality applies to everyone at the mediation including the mediator and any non parties in attendance. The mediator may not disclose to the court what occurred at the mediation.

What do Mediations cost?

Mediators generally charge by the hour for their mediation services. Hourly rates range from $125.00 to $400.00. Some mediators will charge a flat fee for the day or half day mediation. You should confirm with the mediator what their fee will be for your mediation and how it will be divided among the parties.