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What Mediation Services Exist?

What Mediation Services Exist?

What kind of mediation services exist?
Mediation services include a plethora of options.  Mediation is a private industry and as such there are numerous options that exist.  Mediators specialize in all backgrounds of business and law.  Through a simple search one can find mediators to help with a contract dispute, divorce, eldercare, discrimination, estate planning, landlord tenant disputes, workplace mediation and numerous others.
When searching for a mediator it is essential, not only to find a mediator that is neutral, but one who also has expertise in the specific area at issue.  States do not require certification to be a mediator but, like any other profession, the industry polices itself.  Those who do not have the education or training appropriate for mediation will soon find themselves out of work. 
Although certification is not required to be a mediator, courts will usually have a list, available at request; of approved mediators the court finds to be beneficial.  In order to be on this list the courts often demand some kind of training and/or education in mediation, arbitration, or other form of alternate dispute resolution.
What are the types of mediation services?
The 3 major types of mediation services are evaluative mediation, facilitative mediation and transformative mediation.
Evaluative mediation involves the legal rights of the parties.  The role of the mediator is to listen to the arguments on both sides and attempt to predict what a judge and jury will decide if the matter goes to trial.  Even though mediation does away with the rules of evidence and civil procedure a mediator in this situation will evaluate the facts and evidence as would a court of law to help come to a compromise.
Facilitative mediation is quite different.  In this situation the mediator is basically an interested bystander and only comes in to flush out issues.  The purpose of facilitative mediation is to have the parties reach an amicable agreement on their own. 
Transformative mediation in a way is self descriptive.  The point of transformative mediation is to have the parties’ see the others points of view, interests, and values.  In a way, the mediator acts as a marriage counselor.  His/her goal is to help the parties come to a solution and repair broken relationships.  Transformative mediation is often found in interpersonal disputes such as divorce matters and issues dealing with estates.

International Arbitration

International Arbitration

What is international arbitration?

International arbitration is a form of arbitration that deals primarily with contract disputes among parties who are domiciled in different countries.  International arbitration, like domestic arbitration can be either binding or non-binding on the parties involved.  International arbitration involves the parties, their representatives and an arbitrator where the groups discuss the issues involved and attempt to come to an amicable solution.
Why would I choose to go through international arbitration?

As with domestic arbitration, international arbitration exists mainly in contract disputes.  Often times in a contract, especially one that involves a foreign corporation, there exists a clause in the contract mandating arbitration if a dispute arises prior to any court intervention.  Next time you buy a product manufactured in a foreign country take a look at the warranty and you will most likely find a clause that states that all legal matters involved shall be resolved by an international arbitrator.
This is beneficial for both parties involved, especially for the consumer, because in lieu of arbitration the parties will go to court.  The way the court system works is that the first party to get personal jurisdiction over the other and file their complaint will decide in which jurisdiction the matter will be resolved.  Since corporations usually have teams of lawyers representing them this will often be a negative result for the consumer.  Aside from a court finding forum non-conveniens it will be the obligation of the party to seek representation in the foreign country and abide by the rules of the court in that jurisdiction.
International arbitration is most beneficial because it forgoes legal formalities that often lead at least one party unaware of the jurisdictions laws.  For that reason it is best to have arbitration by a neutral individual that is performed without the legal formalities associated with in court litigation.

Are there requirements for international arbitration?
Arbitration does not involve any of the rules or formalities associated with in court civil litigation.  The International Bar Association’s rules on the taking of evidence in international commercial arbitration adopt neither the common law jurisdictions discovery procedures nor the civil law.  However, just like domestic arbitration, arbitrators are bound to follow the rules of confidentiality, neutrality and competence in the field in which they arbitrate.

Reason For A Divorce Mediation

Reason For A Divorce Mediation

What is divorce mediation?

Divorce mediation is a form of alternate dispute resolution that involves the, soon to be, ex-spouses, their representatives, and a mediator.  The purpose of divorce mediation is to avoid in court litigation over divorce matters and attempt to resolve divorce matters quickly and amicably with the help of a neutral party, the mediator.
In mediation the objective is for the couple to meet and attempt to resolve their disagreements concerning divorce matters like the distribution of property and assets, child custody and support, taxes and alimony.  The mediator, for the most part, is an observer.  The divorce mediator will only step in when disagreements between the couple begin to develop. It is then his/her job to keep the lines of discussion open and assist the couple in making a decision that is, not only fair to the couple, but fair to the rest of the family, especially children, that may be involved.

Why would I want divorce mediation?

First of all, divorce mediation, in comparison to trial, is inexpensive.  Divorce mediation, on average, will cost between $3,000 and $4,000 for a three to five day session.  This cost is split between the divorcing parties and usually includes all fees such as cost of mediator, preparation, disclosure documents and other fees. 
Another reason to choose divorce mediation is that it is much less time consuming.  The typical divorce mediation will last three to four sessions, usually lasting no more than two hours.  These sessions are spread out over a period of time, usually not exceeding two months.  In more complex situations, and situations where the couple refuse to take advantage of the mediation process the divorce mediation can take longer.  If a couple cannot come to an amicable agreement then a mediator may recommend that divorce litigation in a court of law would be necessary.
Yet another reason for choosing divorce mediation is the emotional toll that divorce litigation in the courts takes on a couple.  The idea behind divorce mediation is to come to an amicable agreement that both parties can be satisfied with.  The mediator is essentially there to insure the civility of the matter, rationalize with the parties and keep emotions at bay.  A divorce is a very stressful matter and more often than not the parties will have resentment towards each other.  Once emotions get involved in a matter such as this it can lead to a stagnant situation where no part will give in and the party’s only objective is to hurt the other.  This is something that is rampant in divorce litigation.  In the court system a divorce proceeding will, not only be public, but often gets vicious, with dirty laundry being aired.  This can be emotionally scarring, especially when there are children involved.

Are agreements reached in divorce mediation enforceable?

Once an agreement is reached and a contract signed between the parties the decision is enforceable.  The judgment agreed to is prepared and filed in the court system.  Once filed the documents are considered just another form of a divorce judgment and are strictly enforceable. 

what does mediation training involve

what does mediation training involve


What training is involved in mediation?

In the context of legal history mediation is a relatively new and ever evolving field in the legal environment.  This being said there is currently no state in the Union that requires an individual to be certified or even have any kind of training in order to be a mediator.  Many states, however, do require that an individual have at least some form of training or education in the field of mediation.  The state of Massachusetts, for example requires a minimum of 30 hours of training for mediators.  Training can also be satisfied by appropriate classes taken in undergraduate school, law school, business school or any other form of higher learning.  The courses that qualify are usually those that deal with alternate dispute resolution, negotiation, and arbitration.

Why would someone get training if it is not required?

Even though mediation training is not required it is highly beneficial for those seeking to enter the field.  First and foremost, mediation is a voluntary action taken by parties to a dispute.  That being said, parties are free to choose their own mediators and are not court appointed.  On that point it is in the mediator's best interest to be as knowledgeable about the procedures, strategies, and methods involved in mediation in order to retain clients and receive satisfactory results. 

Must a mediator be certified?

As mentioned above, there is no state in the Union that requires a mediator to be certified.  However, some courts require qualification standards in order to be considered in court referrels or providing services in court-connected dispute resolution programs.  The court of your jurisdiction will often provide a list of these mediators for parties to choose from.  As mentioned, one is not required to pick from this list and they are free to choose an outside mediator to resolve the situation.

What standards do mediators have to follow?

Mediators are not subject to exclusionary rules of evidence, or rules of evidence and there is virtually no court interaction.  However, a mediator should be impartial and act as a neutral member of the negotiations.  He/she has an obligation to be competent about the subject matter and be capable of devoting the time and effort necessary to resolve the matter.