Q & A

 

What is Mediation

Mediation is a confidential private process where a neutral third person called a mediator helps the parties discuss and try to resolve the dispute. The parties have the opportunity to describe the issues, discuss their interests, understandings, and feelings; provide each other with information and explore ideas for the resolution of the dispute.  The process is “voluntary”. The parties are not required to come to agreement. The mediator does not have the power to make a decision for the parties, but can help the parties find a resolution that is mutually acceptable.

Your mediation will be governed by rules of confidentiality. Generally, no one who participates in the mediation may reveal mediation communications in any court proceeding unless all parties agree.  The mediator will not discuss your case with anyone, including the judge (if your dispute is already in court), except to say that you met, who attended and whether an agreement was reached.  Certain legal exceptions to this privacy protection exist; for example, threats of harm, admissions of crimes, or admissions of abuse made during mediation may be disclosed in court proceedings.

Attorneys are not replaced by mediation. The mediator will not give legal or financial advice. The mediator will recommend that the parties consult their own attorneys, other professionals, or trusted others where appropriate . 

What Kind of Cases Can be Mediated Online?

Almost any kind of dispute can be settled here. Most of what can be litigated in Small Claims court can be mediated without the delay, missed work or expense, including: debt related disputes,  breach of contract, breach of warranty, security deposit disputes, landlord tenant disputes, neighborhood disputes, defective products and property damage.  In addition to most small claims, mediation can work well for family disputes, e-commerce disputes, workplace disputes,  contractor disappointments, broker disputes, and partnership disputes.  Try mediation before you enter into costly litigation.

How is this Different from an Office Mediation?

It can be more informal (if all the parties decide), or it can be as formal as any Court ordered mediation. The Mediator can meet privately with you or in joint session the same as if you were in his office. The Mediator will follow the American Bar Association’s Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators. The mediations are “live” events and not just an exchange of emails.  If your documents are essential for your case they will need to be scanned and sent as an attachment to the mediator.  If only an office mediation will do and you are in the Bay Area visit our Mountain View office

Do I Need any Special Equipment?

We conduct the mediation using whatever device both parties are most comfortable with: your iphone, ipad, android, computer or a regular phone. No special equipment is required. If the parties want to be able to see each other, the mediation will be conducted either by SKYPE or ZOOM.  This requires that your computer or device has a camera.  Neither program requires you to purchase software.  If the parties do not wish the camera to be used, the mediation will be by phone or audio only.  There is no charge for setup time.  In special circumstances (language issues…disparate time zones…we may mediate with emails to frame the issues).

What about Arbitration?

Some forms of non binding arbitration will be suitable.  

Contact us. 650.625.7300