What is Mediation

Many people mistakenly assume that litigation is the only legal course of action available to them when they wish to resolve a serious dispute with one or more parties. In relation to this, the legal system in California provides for alternative dispute resolution through the process of mediation. Mediation is a way to resolve disputes outside the courtroom in a non-adversarial setting for the mutual benefit of all parties to the dispute. At Lerner Conflict Resolution Center, our knowledgeable mediation specialists are ready to educate you and guide you about what is mediation, how it works, and what are its inherent advantages over litigation.

Why Mediation

Mediation is a Form of ADR
A court trial is not the only way to resolve disputes within the modern legal system. Several different options are available, which are commonly called Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes. There are three main types of ADR processes – mediation, arbitration, and neutral evaluation. Out of these, mediation is often the most popular, effective, and affordable option, especially where divorce and family law disputes, elder care, estate and probate, and small civil claims disputes are concerned.

Mediation is a Voluntary Process
In general, when we talk about mediation, we are referring to private mediation. This is a voluntary process where both parties come together and agree to enter a mediation process outside the court of law. At Lerner Conflict Resolution Center, we provide a safe, professional, and private environment for parties to resolve conflicts peacefully without having to go through potentially expensive and prolonged litigation.
Sometimes a judge can order the parties to participate in a court-ordered mediation process. The goal in both voluntary and court-ordered mediation is the same – to arrive at a settlement acceptable to both parties, without going to trial.

The Mediator is an Expert in Dispute Resolution
Professional mediators typically have a law background. For best results, you should select a mediator with dedicated skill and expertise in divorce and family law dispute resolution.

At Lerner Conflict Resolution Center, our areas of expertise for mediation include family law and divorce, prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements, estate disputes and probate, elder care, civil claims, and community/family disputes.

Mediation is Non-Binding
In California, any negotiations or admissions made during a mediation process cannot be used in a court against any party at a later date. This rule makes it easier for parties to discuss sensitive matters more freely during the mediation process.

Participants may sometimes enter into a confidentiality agreement before mediation for further clarity and peace of mind. As a trusted and experienced meditation firm, Lerner Conflict Resolution Center is committed to adhere to all ethical and statutory guidelines related to client privacy and confidentiality regarding the matters discussed during the negotiations.

Settlement is Not Mandatory in Mediation
It is possible in some cases that the mediation process may not prove adequate to help both sides to arrive at an agreement. Even in such instances, mediation can be seen as a success if the parties to the dispute have made some progress or resolved some parts of their dispute. However, some disputes might turn out to be completely beyond the scope of mediation. In these cases, the parties may try other forms of ADR, or take their case to a court.

Mediation Proceedings are Confidential
In a court and during arbitration, the decision of the judge/arbitrator is binding on both parties. In mediation, however, the mediator does not decide the case in favor of either party. They will just hear both sides of the case and facilitate a voluntary negotiation between them.

The mediator will act as an unbiased third party trying to defuse the conflict and assist the parties in coming to a mutually acceptable settlement. That is their only role in the matter – they cannot pass any decision that is binding on the parties.

Our Seasoned Mediators are Here to Help

Lerner Conflict Resolution Center has been helping Californians find quick and mutually beneficial solutions to their disputes in an affordable, low-stress environment. We have the expertise and resources to provide mediation services across various branches of law including family law and divorce, probate and estate, civil small claims, elder care, and community disputes.
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