The key to successful mediation is to approach the process in good faith. Be willing to share interests and feelings. Be open to hearing what the other party has to say. Be willing to put forth ideas on resolution options, as well as listen to ideas the other party may have. In mediation, it is the parties who create the solution with the mediators facilitating and focusing the conversation.
Mediation through the Neighborhood Justice Center (NJC) is fast, confidential, effective, and free. It puts the decision-making process into the hands of the parties, rather than having a judge make a decision, allowing for a win-win resolution. Mediation between parties with on-going relationships is likely to result in an amicable outcome for both parties.
Frequently Asked Questions: What You Need to Know about Mediation
What should I bring?
A party may bring anything they want to share with the other party – documents, evidence, etc. The Neighborhood Justice Center provides pens, paper, water and snacks. Since mediators do not make the decisions or evaluate what is presented in mediation, there is no need for them to review evidence or speak to witnesses. Only direct decision-makers need be present in mediation.
What should I wear?
Please dress comfortably and allow for temperature variations in the building.
How long will the mediation take?
The typical mediation session lasts from 2-4 hours. If additional sessions are necessary, they are scheduled at the convenience of the parties.
Where should I park?
The NJC validates parking at the Fremont Street Experience Garage (enter off of 4 th St.) which is 4 ½ blocks north of the office, located at 3rd St. and Lewis Avenue. Persons who are unable to walk 4 blocks should contact the NJC prior to their mediation date to make alternative arrangements for parking.
Please check in with the front desk. You will be directed to a waiting area and not be required to wait in the same area as the other party.
What is the general mediation process?
The process is simple. After the mediators make an opening statement and ask you to review and sign a consent to mediate, then each participant makes a statement about what is important to them while the others listen. The mediators will then meet with each party privately. Finally, everyone comes together to talk about options and formulate an agreement, which can be oral or put in writing.
Who is present at the mediation?
We prefer that only direct decision-makers be present. Although not necessary, attorneys may be present with their clients.
What if I get uncomfortable?
Please let the mediators know if you are not comfortable. You may ask to speak with the mediator privately at any time or wait until the part of the process when the mediator speaks to each party individually.
Is this Confidential?
Yes. Mediation participants sign a Consent to Mediate at the beginning of the session.
How is the agreement enforced?
Studies have shown that parties are more satisfied with mediated agreements than with court orders since mediated agreements are created by the parties themselves.
A written mediation agreement serves as any legally binding contract would between two parties.
A great deal of preparation goes into setting up a mediation. In addition to confirming a time and place with each participant, we select 2 mediators and sometimes invite mediators in-training to observe the mediation. The room is prepared with snacks and water, and the staff is ready to receive the participants.
If you cannot make it to the scheduled mediation, or would like to reschedule, please let us know as soon as possible, at least 24 hours in advance.