October 29, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions

Mediation is a fast, economical, private way to resolve disputes.

It’s a process in which the parties involved and a trained, impartial mediator explore issues and generate options which lead to the creation of solutions which will work for all parties.

Mediation focuses on planning the future, rather than concentrating on the past. Guilt and innocence are not decided. The goal is to develop a solution which meets the needs of all the participants.

The American Bar Association offers an informative online brochure on Preparing for Family Mediation. More information on both Family and General Mediation below.

What Happens in Mediation?

During the mediation process, each person is given an opportunity to describe the situation from their own point of view. Trained mediators then guide the discussion, defining issues, so that everyone is solving the same problem and developing creative solutions which best satisfy the needs of all parties. When agreement is reached, the mediator puts the agreement in writing and a signed copy is given to each person.

Why Mediation Works

Reaching agreement is voluntary. Those involved in the dispute are committed to settling their differences. Also, the outcome is created by the disputants and people honor agreements that they create.

How Much Does Mediation Cost?

Please click here to view the fee schedule.

How May I Pay for Mediation?

Payment is accepted via Paypal law firm checks, all major credit cards or cash.

Types of Mediation:

  • Neighbors
  • Friends
  • Relatives
  • Divorce
  • Divorce Modification
  • Separation
  • Guardianship
  • Probate Disputes
  • Business
  • Landlord / Tenant
  • Employment / Employee
  • Merchant / Consumer

Who Can Take Part?

People can participate in mediation by referring themselves or by having a court order them to attend. Regardless of the referral source, the outcome of mediation always rests in the hands of the parties in the dispute. No solution is ever forced on the parties.

It is the DRC-MC’s policy to allow only named parties and the attorney of record to be in mediation sessions. Additional persons may wait in the hall in the event that they are needed for input during the mediation.

Is it Necessary to Have An Attorney?

No, it is not necessary to have an attorney.If one or more of the parties has engaged the services of an attorney, please inform the DRC-MC if the attorney will attend and contribute to the mediation.

May Children Attend?

The DRC-MC does not have facilities or staff to tend to children and children are not allowed in mediation. Parties arriving for mediation with small children will be asked to find a resource or to reset the mediation for a time when child care is available to them.

What Kinds of Issues Can Be Mediated?

Types of issues mediated range from barking dogs in the neighborhood to business/consumer disputes to divorce and custody issues to all types of general civil disputes. The DRC-MC mediates some minor criminal matters (like fighting) and does some juvenile restitution mediation. The dispute DOES NOT have to be a law suit in order to be handled by the DRC-MC. We try to get people to try mediation before they file suit!

How Do I Schedule A Mediation?

See our How to Schedule a Mediation page for instructions.

You do not have to have filed a law suit in order to use mediation; you can schedule mediation before filling suit. Please have the name, address and telephone number for each person you wish to include in mediation ready when you contact the DRC-MC. We will notify the other parties involved and assist in confirming dates for your mediation.

Who Will Mediate My Dispute?

The mediators are volunteers trained by the DRC-MC. They are drawn from a variety of fields, including business, law, education, medicine, government and human services.

What is the Cancellation Policy?

In order to deal with the problems created for The DRC-MC volunteer mediators when mediations are cancelled at the last moment or one party fails to appear with no reasonable excuse, the following policies shall be enforced:

A case cancelled after 3:00 PM Central time on the day preceding scheduled mediation or in which one party fails to appear at a scheduled mediation will not be reset until the fees for the cancelled session and the new session have been paid in full by the cancelling party.

The DRC-MC will allow only one reset per party in a non-court ordered case. The staff will advise persons initiating a reset that they will have only the one reset and to be very careful about choosing a reset date with which they can comply. Court ordered mediation may only reset with the court’s permission.

Other DRC-MC Operating Policies

The DRC-MC will not set mediation in a case in which all parties have not been served for at least one week.

What we will do is give the requesting attorney a date certain not less than two weeks after the first hearing date. The judges have been very cooperative in agreeing to continue the case until mediation has been completed.

In the original letter from the DRC-MC, attorneys and parties are requested to set aside 4 hours for daytime and 3 hours for evening mediation. All participants in the mediation are expected to stay in the session once it has begun.

If an attorney and/or party leaves mediation without the concurrence of all other parties and the mediators and is gone for more than 30 minutes, the mediation session will be terminated.

An additional mediation will not be scheduled until the leaving party has paid the second session fees for all parties.

FOR ALL THE PROCEDURES ABOVE:

The DRC-MC retains the right to revise these policies as needed and without prior notice.