A mediator is a neutral, third party who helps people in conflict understand each other and create their own mutually satisfying solutions. The mediation process is confidential, flexible, and faster than a trial. It is often less expensive than a court proceeding.

Mediation services help people who are experiencing family or workplace conflicts resolve those issues without the emotional stress and financial cost of litigation. These services also help people improve communication and problem-solving skills, which can be helpful in future disputes.

During mediation, both parties present their side of the story to the mediator, who listens carefully, asks questions and helps the participants identify options for resolution. In most cases, the person who requested the mediation will make an opening statement first. The mediator may then ask the other parties to share their views. The mediator does not seek to uncover the truth or impose legal rules or procedures.

In about 80% of all mediated cases, a resolution is reached. The resolution may be a simple one-page agreement or it may be more elaborate, containing a variety of terms and provisions. Some of the terms may be negotiated by the mediator during mediation; others will need to be agreed upon after mediation. Regardless of the outcome, it is important for all participants to understand that the resolution is entirely voluntary and that they are not required to accept any settlement.

The mediation process is flexible, with the parties deciding when and where they will meet to mediate, who will be present at the session and how the mediation will be paid for. Most community, county and state programs provide free or low-cost mediation services, while private mediators usually charge an hourly rate, which is then split equally by the participants. Some judges may order the parties to participate in mediation before a trial, or the participants can arrange and schedule mediation sessions themselves.

Mediation is not appropriate for some types of disputes, including those involving criminal or civil cases that require public airing or where there are requests for urgent Court remedies such as an injunction or specific performance. A lawyer can help a person determine whether or not mediation is an appropriate option for their dispute.

If you are facing a dispute, contact McLin Burnsed for trusted, experienced mediation services that can resolve your issue without the time, expense and emotional stress of a litigation battle. The firm is well-versed in a variety of disputes, including contract and construction disputes, utility company litigation, class actions and employment law matters. Phil Smith has extensive experience in handling high-profile matters. Call today to schedule your consultation. The office is located in Houston, Texas. The firm also serves clients throughout the United States. The office handles business, construction and real estate disputes. The lawyers at the firm have significant experience in representing commercial property owners, developers and contractors. The firm also handles personal injury claims and medical malpractice suits. The attorneys are board-certified in civil trial practice and have extensive litigation and arbitration experience.