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What happens in mediation?

Question and Answer

What happens in mediation?

There are certain ground rules the mediator will ask participants to follow. The first, and most important, is that with a few exceptions covered in Court Rules 1:40-4(c) and (d), what goes on in mediation is confidential. That is, what is said in mediation cannot be discussed outside of the mediation process unless the parties consent. Prior to mediation, the mediator will usually ask the attorneys to prepare a brief summary of the issues in dispute. Then, at the mediation session, the mediator will ask attorneys and their clients to make brief presentations about the issues from their own perspectives. After that, the mediator will help the parties to explore areas of possible compromise and to develop a solution that meets everyone’s interests. Sometimes, the mediator may meet with the parties separately for a private discussion that might help move the parties toward a resolution. If an agreement is reached, a document will be prepared detailing the terms of the agreement. Thereafter, the mediator will notify the court that the case can be dismissed. If the case is not resolved, the mediator will advise the court, and the case will remain on the docket.