The process of mediation may be different for different people and problems. Generally, the parties and/or their lawyers talk with the PNW Mediator prior to a mediation session, then meet with the mediator in one or more sessions. Mediation sessions can be joint with everyone together, or each side in separate rooms, or both. Everyone works to identify what the issues are, determine what information is needed to help solve the problems, work to identify possible solutions and sort out solutions that work for everyone.
If people prefer, the mediator can meet with the parties individually. This is usually necessary where one party has concerns about their safety.
In mediation, the parties choose the outcome. The mediator never tells anyone what choices to make. This is one of the big differences between mediating and going to court. In court, the judge tells you what you will get. In mediation you decide what you will get.
If you request it, PNW Mediation can provide “evaluative” feedback on legal issues. For example, if you have a dispute about what the law is on a particular issue, we can offer an opinion about how a court might rule (although we cannot give legal advice).
Once you have decided how to resolve the case, the PNW Mediator can draft a Memorandum of Understanding reflecting the agreement, and one of the lawyers involved in the case can draft the final court documents.