Frequently Asked Questions:
Most of the people that we work with have had very limited, or no experience with Mediation. Below, we have attempted to address some of the most common questions that we encounter. Do not hesitate to call us with any questions that you have concerning the Mediation process. We will do our best to address your concerns. Remember, any questions that you have are good questions!
Question 1: How much does Mediation Cost?
Fees are calculated at an hourly billing rate, usually divided between the participants. The Fee is calculated based upon the duration of the meeting and the time estimated for post-meeting document preparation. Payment is expected at the time of the session, by cash, check or money order. We do not accept credit cards at this time.
Question 2: How long is a session? How many sessions are usually needed?
Sessions are scheduled to last a minimum of 2 hours. We have found that a shorter session does not allow sufficient time to explore issues. A session that is significantly longer than 2 hours can lead to "Mediation fatigue". Nevertheless, we have conducted successful sessions of less than 2 hours, and successful sessions that have gone on for many hours. The number of sessions depend on the complexity of the issues. More than half of the Mediations that we conduct are concluded in a single session.
Question 3: Must Attorneys attend the Mediation?
Attorneys attend approximately 25% of the Mediations that we conduct. Attorneys are most welcome, but we ask that we be notified in advance if an attorney will be in attendance. This is so that all participants will have the opportunity to bring their attorneys, and so that the schedules of the attorneys can be accommodated. Whether or not your attorney attends the session, we strongly urge all participants to consult with legal Counsel, and review the results of the Mediation with an attorney before executing any Agreements achieved in Mediation.
Question 4: Since you are an Attorney, can't you give legal advice?
Although I have been an attorney since 1980, I am now retired from the practice of law. Even if I were not retired, I can not be YOUR attorney. I can give legal information to both participants during the session, but I can not give either participant LEGAL ADVICE. Legal information may include such things as how the Court process works, but I can not give guidance on what decisions you should make in the Court process.
Question 5: Are the results of the Mediation binding?
At the conclusion of the Mediation session the Mediator will prepare a Memorandum of Understandings reached. This document is usually mailed/faxed/emailed to the participants and their attorneys within 2 business days of the session. You should carefully review this document with your attorney before executing the Agreement which was reached. An Agreement becomes binding only once it has been signed by the participants. Many Agreements must also be filed with the appropriate Court before they become binding.