What is Mediation?
- An informal process where parties meet with a neutral person who helps them in the negotiation of their differences.
- It is a voluntary and confidential alternative to traditional legal and regulatory processes.
- The mediator does not determine who is legally right or wrong nor will the mediator tell either party what to do.
- Mediation leaves the decision-making power totally and strictly with the parties.
Who Are the Mediators and What Do They Do?
Mediators on our roster are all highly trained and well regarded professionals in the dispute resolution field. Our mediators have specialized experience and training in the agricultural fields. Mediators work with all parties to:
- Eliminate communication obstacles
- Facilitate a calm and rational discussion
- Identify and clarify the issues
- Explore options
- Record agreements
Advantages of Mediation
Mediation works because the process:
- Is informal and impartial
- Encourages open discussion
- Helps the parties create their own solutions
- Restores communication between disputing parties
- Preserves and enhances important business relationships
- May save all parties time and money as compared to litigation
- Has fewer implementation issues since the parties agree to all terms
What is a mediation session like?
We have created a video that includes information about mediation and a mock mediation session. To view the video visit the New Hampshire or Vermont program page.
Mediation sessions begin with a joint session with all participants present. The purpose of the joint session is to define the issues and ascertain the interests and concerns of all parties.
The mediator begins by welcoming the participants, explaining how mediation works, and explaining the ground rules for the session. After introductory remarks, each participant has the opportunity to make a brief opening statement and provide their perspective on the problem.
Following the opening statements, there is generally a discussion to clarify the issues, consider the relevant information and data, and explore options. Sometimes, a joint session is followed by a private meeting between the mediator and each party. This allows each side to explain and enlarge upon their goals for the mediation in confidence. Depending on the nature of the dispute and the dynamics of the mediation session, the mediator may alternate between private and joint sessions until the parties have resolved their differences, decided to reconvene for additional sessions, or determined that further mediation is no longer constructive.
How Can Parties Make the Most of a Mediation Session?
- Gather and organize the documents and paperwork
- Create a written time line with the events to be discussed
- If important information is missing, tell the mediator and see if they can help locate the necessary information
- Make copies of important documents and label the paperwork prior to the mediation so that its easier to use it during the mediation.
- Flag any documents that you do not want the other parties to see so that the mediator knows to keep the document confidential.
- Remember your point of view may be different from the other parties
- Be prepared to listen to what they have to say as well.
- It is common in mediation to come up with more creative, open and collaborative ways to resolve the problem than can be found in other forums such as in a courtroom or before a hearing officer.
- Keep an open mind about what might work to fix the problem.
- Try to encourage more ideas by not immediately saying “no” to a proposal.
- During the mediation, if you need time to think about about an issue, or would like to speak to an adviser whose opinion you value, you can do so.
- Think of the mediation session as a conversation between you and the other parties with the mediator there to ensure that the conversation is productive and that each of you has the opportunity to speak, reflect and work together to come up with joint solutions.