Who, what when, where, why?
How does mediation work?
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process where two parties sit down in an attempt to resolve their differences with a neutral third party. The goal of the mediation is to help the parties discuss the issues and attempt to reach an agreement without going to trial. Mediators help the parties to agree to a compromised settlement. They have no power to decide merits or render a resolution to the conflict.
Who needs to be there?
Anyone involved in the conflict needs to be present in order for the process to work. If one party requests an additional person or persons who are not directly involved in the conflict, but may need to be there, both parties must be in agreement that this is permitted.
What happens if I don't show up for mediation?
If a court order to mediate is ignored, even in cases of divorce, you may be held in contempt of court. If you refuse to attend the mediation altogether, this can count against you in your court hearing. If your case is not mandated, there is no penalty unless an agreement to mediate is signed.
Do I need a lawyer for this?
In most cases, no. Mediations do not require legal counsel. Some parties choose to obtain counsel at an additional cost for personal advisement purposes.
How long does it take?
Most mediation sessions will last 1-3 hours. Depending on the situation, the process may require more than one session; however, most disputes can be settled in one session.
Can mediators give a ruling?
No. There is a similar legal process called arbitration, where parties present their case to a neutral party who makes a decision that renders a resolution to the conflict. Mediators help parties create a solution together that they both agree on and are comfortable with. Additionally, agreements are more likely to be fulfilled when parties create the solution themselves.
Where do mediations take place?
Mediations take place in a private, neutral space. Iron Range Mediation Services currently holds sessions at the Tech Tank in Hibbing, unless remote services are requested.
What happens after mediation?
If the mediation resulted in a settlement agreement, parties sign the agreement release, make payment, and the lawyers send a dismissal order for the judge to sign. The case is then resolved and in most civil cases, the parties will not need to return to court. If mediation is obtained for non-legal purposes, other options can be discussed.