What Is Mediation?
Simply put, mediation is a process where a person called a mediator helps people resolve a dispute in a non-confrontational setting. It is more akin to marriage counseling than litigation. The mediator will not be deciding any outcome, but will try to get the parties to come to an agreement with which they can both live. According to the Nevada Rules Governing Alternative Dispute Resolution, Rule 1(B), the mediator:
acts to encourage and facilitate the resolution of a dispute between two or more parties. It is an informal and non-adversarial process with the objective of helping the disputing parties reach a mutually acceptable and voluntary agreement. In mediation, decision-making authority rests with the parties. The role of the mediator includes, but is not limited to, assisting the parties in identifying issues, fostering joint problem solving, and exploring settlement alternatives.
Since no two disputes are alike, no two solutions will be the same. The process of how mediation proceeds will therefore depend largely on the needs of those involved. I will attempt to illustrate some of the possible ways a mediation might proceed.
Jay Young is a mediator in Las Vegas, Nevada.