Frequently Asked Questions About Mediation
What is mediation?
Mediation is the process of communication in which a mediator helps parties in a dispute reach an agreement.
Who is the mediator?
A mediator is an impartial third party who facilitates communication between people to reach an agreement regarding a dispute. In this case, Kimberly Munson is an attorney with over 27 years of civil trial experience (including jury trials, bench trials, summary jury trials, and arbitrations) in a variety of different areas. In other words, Kimberly “doesn’t have a dog in your fight” but should be able to provide insight into your dispute and resolution of same.
What legal areas do you mediate?
We mediate in the areas of Business Disputes, Contracts, Real Estate, Personal Injury, Premises Liability, Defamation, Dog Bites, Slip and Fall, Wrongful Death, Auto & Trucking Accidents, Homeowners Association Disputes, Employment Disputes, Soriano Issues, Insurance Coverage & Claims.
What if there are multiple claims and not enough money (Soriano)?
Mediation can be useful in helping the parties decide how to split limited proceeds when there are multiple claimants and not enough money (insurance proceeds or otherwise).
What if there is no lawsuit, yet?
A lawsuit does not have to be filed to avail yourself of the benefits of mediation. Mediation can be useful in helping parties resolve disputes before a lawsuit is filed.
Does the mediator “decide” the outcome of mediation?
No. Unlike a Judge or Arbitrator, a mediator does not decide the outcome of a dispute. The mediator helps the parties try to reach an agreement of their own choosing but if agreement cannot be reached, it is likely a judge or jury will then make the decision for the parties. Mediation allows the parties control of the decision making, with the help of the mediator, but if the matter is not resolved, the decision making will be with a judge or jury.
I am pro se, does the mediator give legal advice?
No. The mediator is not your lawyer and is not to going to provide legal advice.
Is an agreement reached at mediation enforceable/binding?
YES, if it is written and signed by the parties to the agreement. A written and signed agreement at a mediation is a contract.
Do I need a half day or a full day (or more) mediation?
It depends upon the complexity of the case, the number of sides, and the positions and experience of the parties.
Do you mediate in person or by zoom?
Currently, we offer mediation in person or by zoom. However, the parties must advise, when booking, which option they desire.
Why do I need to pay the cost of mediation in advance?
A good mediation is generally considered to be one in which agreement is reached but neither side is thrilled (both sides had to give something from their respective positions to get the matter resolved; but, the resolution was preferable to continuing the dispute). Being paid prior to the mediation assures that the mediator is paid for their time regardless of outcome. Moreover, it is not an effective use of the mediation time/day to deal with administrative bookkeeping (such as payment). Payment in advance is required.
Should I send in information before the mediation?
YES!! If sent, I read documents and position papers before the mediation in order to be “up and running” immediately. If you send information to me days or weeks before the mediation, you have the best opportunity to make good use of your mediation time.
Do I need to send what I send to the mediator to the other side?
If you want the information, documents, or position paper you send to the mediator to remain confidential, write “CONFIDENTIAL” before you send it to the mediator, and do not copy the other side(s).