FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Disclaimer: These questions and answers are not legal advice and are not a substitute for seeking the advice of an attorney.
1. What is mediation?
Mediation (also referred to as Alternative Dispute Resolution) is a voluntary and confidential approach to reaching a settlement with the help of an impartial third party, the Mediator or Mediators. Mediation can often take the place of the court system, allowing the parties to keep the power of critical decision-making authority, over having significant decisions made for them by a judge or jury. All decisions are based on informed consent, where both parties clearly understand all the implications of their decisions. No decisions are made for the parties, as all the decision-making authority at all times is an agreement between the parties.
2. What do mediators do?
The mediators or co-mediators are impartial facilitators that guide the mediation process. They keep things on track by clarifying and fostering communication. They serve as an educator on certain issues helping the parties find common ground. They can help the parties generate creative ideas and solutions to complex issues that can seem unsolvable. They help the parties evaluate the options and work through the logistics and workability of those options, and if a settlement is reached, they capture it in writing for the final approval of both parties.
3. What is co-mediation?
Simply put, co-mediation is where two mediators work together in assisting parties in reaching a settlement for their dispute. The Mediation and Dispute Resolution, LLC uses male/female mediation teams, which can be extremely beneficial, as it brings gender balance, multi-expertise and the combined skills and experience of the two mediators to complex and quite often emotionally charged cases and situations. Co-mediation can also speed up the mediation process, which can result in a cost savings for the parties.
4. Who pays for mediation?
Typically each party pays half of the cost for the mediation. However, the parties can agree on a different payment arrangement.
5. Does co-mediation cost more?
Co-mediation is an unique service provided by the Mediation and Dispute Resolution, LLC team, so it typically does NOT cost any more than a normal single mediator mediation, especially for family/domestic mediations which include; divorce, uncontested divorce, post divorce matters, non-married parents and other family disputes. For complex civil, commercial or employment disputes there could be a small increase over Family/ Domestic mediations, however those cases still get two mediators for the price of one if they choose co-mediation.
6. Do I have to hire an attorney to come to mediation?
No. Mediation is appropriate in a variety of situations, including before a lawsuit is filed. You may wish to bring an attorney with you but it is not required.
7. What if I need some legal services?
One of our partners is Jamie A. Miller, Esq. the principal of J. Miller Law Firm, PLLC. Jamie is also one of our mediators for civil, commercial and employment mediation cases. Barring any conflicts, the J. Miller Law Firm can offer a host of legal services to our clients, which may include creating the legal documents that need to be filed with the court outlining the settlement details.
8. What happens at mediation?
The mediator acts as a neutral third party to facilitate conversation between two or more people that have a disagreement. The mediator helps each person hear the other side and explore options for resolution. The goal of mediation is for the parties to reach an agreement.
9. Will the mediator make me settle my case?
No. The mediator does not have authority to force you to settle your case. The mediators at Mediate and Dispute Resolution, LLC follow a facilitative approach for mediation. That means they will help each side communicate and look for options to resolve their dispute. The decision on whether or not mediation is successful is up to the parties involved.
10. Do I have to be in the same room with the person I have a dispute with if we cannot get along?
No. While it is often preferable for both sides to be able to talk directly with each other, we recognize that is not always possible or in the best interest of everyone. The mediator will help the parties make a decision on whether or not they should be in the same room or in separate rooms. Sometimes the parties will be able to be in the same room for part of the session and separate at different points before coming together again.
11. Is mediation the same as arbitration?
No. Both are types of alternative dispute resolution, but there are differences between mediation and arbitration. A panel of arbitrators often conducts arbitration, following rules agreed on by the parties such as in a contract. The arbitrator or arbitrators decide who wins the case and what the resolution may be. Arbitration is often binding and has limited opportunities for appeal.
Mediation is a more informal process where the mediator guides the parties to help find a mutually agreeable settlement. The parties have the power to decide whether to settle and on what terms. Mediation is generally not binding. If mediation is successful, the parties will reach a resolution and that agreement will be put in writing and signed by all parties.
12. What if mediation is not successful?
Mediation statistically has an 80% success rate as well as a significantly higher compliance rate over court orders. If your mediation session is not successful, no written agreement will be reached, and each person is free to leave. If mediation is not successful during the session, it is still very possible that an agreement may be reached either informally between the parties or an additional mediation can be scheduled at a later time.
13. What if the person I have a dispute with doesn’t want to come to mediation?
Unless the mediation is court-ordered, both parties must agree to the mediation. Generally, one person will contact us to schedule a mediation session. At that point, we will ask you for additional information, including the contact information of the other person or persons involved in the dispute. Mediation will be scheduled with the consent of all parties.
Mediation & Dispute Resolution, LLC.
7136 S. Yale Avenue, Suite 215
Tulsa, OK 74136
Call Us Today:
Mediation and Dispute Resolution, LLC.
7136 S. Yale Avenue, Suite 215
Tulsa, OK 74136
Jeffrey and Cindy Miller at Mediation and Dispute Resolution, LLC are both "Qualified Divorce & Family Mediators". They have been approved by the Tulsa County District Court’s Quality Assurance Panel (QAP) and are listed on the Tulsa County Family Court's approved list of Qualified Divorce & Family Mediators. To be listed on the courts approved list, Mediators must meet the requirements of the Oklahoma District Court Mediation Act, 12 O.S. Section 1825.