Mediation allows the participants to make their own decisions, rather than having outcomes imposed upon them.

How does mediation work?
Mediation is a consensual problem-solving process by which a neutral mediator guides discussions and assists groups or individuals reach resolutions or develop future options that are agreeable to everyone involved. The mediator helps participants identify their respective needs and interests, clarify their differences, and explore common ground. During the mediation process, the participants speak for themselves and generally are not represented by attorneys. A skilled mediator will ensure that the mediation sessions are safe, respectful, and productive.

Will the mediator decide how the issue should be resolved?
Mediator Tim Brewer favors a facilitative mediation process. The facilitative model is based on the belief that the parties to mediation know better than anyone what they need and what they will consider fair and appropriate, and that the more the parties participate and are invested in the resolution, the more likely all parties will perform as agreed.

Will I still need to go to court if I mediate?
Mediation can be used instead of, in conjunction with, and at any time before, during, or after a court process to resolve or clarify issues. For instance, in the adoption setting, adopting parents may wish to mediate with birth parents to determine the type and amount of post-adoption contact that would be appropriate for everyone concerned. The adopting parents still will need to petition the court to grant the adoption, but the issue of post-adoption contact will not need to be litigated in court.

What does the mediation process involve?
There are six stages of a typical mediation session:

  • Introductions/logistics
  • Parties sign confidentiality agreement
  • Information sharing/discussion agenda
  • Defining issues, underlying needs and interests
  • Brainstorming and evaluating options for resolution
  • Create written resolution agreement

What kinds of disputes or issues can be mediated?
Virtually any kind of issue or dispute, including:

  • adoption/paternity issues
  • probate/trust/will contests
  • family conflicts and issues
  • parenting, child custody, and property division
  • neighborhood and community conflicts
  • commercial/business disputes
  • real property disputes
  • workplace disputes
  • non-profit management and governance

Why does mediation work?

  • Mediation seeks to find creative ways to meet all parties’ needs. It does not require participants to compromise their principles.
  • Mediation generally is not adversarial or hostile.
  • Mediation looks forward rather than backward, exploring ways the parties can reach common ground or govern their future interactions. Mediation is not concerned with who is at fault.
  • Mediation allows participants to make their own decisions rather than having outcomes imposed upon them.
  • The mediation process teaches participants a constructive and effective way to communicate in future difficult situations and disputes.

What are the advantages of mediation over other forms of dispute resolution?

  • Mediation is private. All aspects of mediation are confidential. Public documents and court proceedings are not required.
  • Mediation can be quick. Court cases can take months or years to resolve. Mediation often can resolve conflicts in one or two sessions.
  • Mediation is inexpensive. Unlike court cases, there are no motions, discovery requests, or attorney fees. The quicker a conflict can be resolved, the less the emotional and financial toll.
  • Mediation is fair. In mediation, the participants (and not a judge or jury) are the decision-makers. Creative resolutions are encouraged. Because participants control the outcome, mediation never results in an unacceptable resolution.
  • Mediation is respectful. Mediation helps preserve ongoing relationships or end existing relationships in a cooperative way.
  • Mediation is effective. Because mediation agreements are voluntary, they are more likely to be followed by all parties than court judgments.
  • Mediation helps balance power. Mediation uniquely prevents any participant from overpowering or bullying others. The unbiased mediator will help correct power imbalances to assure a fair process for all concerned.

What does mediation cost?
Our hourly mediation rates very, depending on the nature of the matter, status of client, and number of mediators involved. Please contact us for the rates applicable to your situation. In addition, we offer daily and weekly flat fees. There is no charge for travel within Lane County, Oregon. Travel outside Lane County is billed at a reduced hourly rate. We charge a small file-setup fee, and do not charge for most long distance telephone, postage, faxes, secretarial and other office expenses.

Will there be a written agreement with the mediator?
Yes. We use a detailed agreement that helps explain many of the administrative details of the mediation process and the limits and extent of mediation confidentiality.