Mediation is a voluntary process whereby parties use a neutral and impartial third party to assist the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable solution to their problems. Mediation should not be confused with arbitration whereby the third party will make a decision or case evaluation and a recommended settlement will be issued. In mediation, the mediator will facilitate a safe environment where not only attorneys but parties can speak and be heard. This process helps to ensure that the parties can mutually solve their problems. Recent statistics show that approximately eighty per cent of cases that mediate resolve and that eighty percent of those cases show that the agreements continue to be abided by the parties. Therefore, mediation in many cases may be more cost effective than litigation.
Mediation is an alternative offered by the MDCR in the complaint resolution process. Mediation is an informal process where opposing parties can voluntarily negotiate resolution of their dispute with the help of a neutral person (mediator). This can be done before or after a law suit is filed or a complaint is made.
Role of the Mediator
Mediators do not make any decisions on the outcome of a complaint. The role of the mediator is to facilitate discussion to try and resolve the complaint. Settlement is voluntary and only occurs when both claimant and respondent reach a settlement that both parties are willing to sign. Mediators do not act as advocates or offer legal advice.
People involved in mediation may have legal representation at mediation, including but not limited to an attorney. the State of Michigan does not provide representation for those involved in mediation, but parties may retain their own counsel if they feel it necessary.
All mediation participants must sign a confidentiality agreement at the start of mediation. Key features of this agreement include:
- Parties understand that mediation is voluntary and that they can withdraw from the mediation at any time.
- Parties understand that the mediator has no power to decide who wins or loses the case and that the mediator is going to try to help parties reach their own resolution of the matter.
- Parties agree not to subpoena the mediator or any observer to testify about what was said in mediation. The mediator agrees not to willingly testify or report anything said or done in mediation unless one of the participants makes a genuine threat of physical harm, or commits physical harm.
- Parties understand that any documents prepared for or during mediation are for settlement purposes only and may not be subpoenaed for, or used in, an administrative hearing or trial unless otherwise discoverable.
- Parties understand that participants are not bound by anything said or done in mediation unless and until there is a written agreement to do so.
- Parties understand that they may reach a confidential agreement that may or may not be submitted to the court depending on the laws of the State of Michigan and the agreement of the parties itself.
- Mediation saves time. Investigations, hearings or court cases can take a long time.
- Mediation saves money. Although an attorney is not required, through the course of prolonged litigation both parties may want legal assistance. Aside from legal fees, other costs can include lost income from time away from work, and lost productivity from the time and energy that you dealing with litigation.
- This may be the only time you can face the other party and share your point of view.
- Mediation is an informal way to communicate and try to reach a resolution.
- Mediators make sure everyone has an equal chance to speak and make suggestions.
- Mediators will not be subpoenaed and information from the mediation has no effect on the future court case if there is no resolution.
- You can be creative and offer suggestions on how to resolve the complaint rather than accepting someone else’s decision.
- No party has to admit wrongdoing in order to resolve a dispute through mediation.
- Mediation is a chance to put an end to the issue on your terms. If the matter is not successfully mediated, litigation may continue with witness interviews, investigators, or simply many more court appearances.
Mediation Attorneys Ypsilanti MI
Primarily serving the cities of Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, and the counties of Wayne and Washtenaw, although we extend our legal services throughout the State of Michigan.
There are many benefits to mediation including being cost effective, saving time, avoiding litigation, improving communication and allowing you to design a solution that works for you and your family.Collis & Griffor, PC are mediation attorneys serving clients in Ypsilanti and throughout southern Michigan. If you are considering mediation, call Collis & Griffor, PC today at 734.827.1337 or contact us to set up an appointment for a free consultation.