What is mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary, collaborative approach to resolving disputes using the help of an impartial, third party.
What types of disputes can be mediated?
- Neighbors who complain about noise, disturbances, animals, etc.
- Consumers and merchants who disagree about the quality of products and services
- Debt and loan disputes about money owed
- Workplace relationships, employee grievances, discrimination claims, and wage disputes
- Landlord and tenant disputes about security deposits, rent, damages and repairs
- Family and Interpersonal Relationships including parents, children, friends, roommates
- Divorce, divorce modification, and parentage matters
- Guardianships, elder care, end-of-life decisions, dividing an estate
- Business relationships, contract disputes, partnership issues
- School relationships that involve students, teachers, and administrators
Mediation is effective in a wide variety of disputes, including conflicts involving:
Why is mediation helpful?
- Mediation is often faster and less expensive than other methods of resolving disputes.
- Mediation occurs in a safe and fair setting.
- Mediation is confidential.
- Mediated settlements are more likely to end the dispute.
How does mediation work?
Mediation takes place in an informal setting. At UDR, you will sit at a table with the mediator and the other party in the dispute. The mediator will begin by summarizing the basics of mediation; this is a time when you can ask questions about the process before you begin talking about the specific issues at hand. The mediator acts as an impartial, third party to the dispute and does not take sides or tell the parties how to resolve the dispute. Rather, the parties have control over any decisions made during mediation. The mediator will guide the process and help you and the other party communicate about the issues.
What if I just can’t sit in the same room with the other party?
Parties typically begin mediation together in the same room. The mediator will explain the process and gather information about the issues at hand. Sometimes parties meet separately with the mediator rather than together in the same room. These separate meetings are called caucus sessions. Although caucus is not required in mediation, some parties find it helpful. Anyone may suggest caucus: the mediator, either party, or a participating attorney. If you and the other party are unable to remain in the same room together, caucus may be an option to consider. When parties remain in caucus throughout mediation, then the mediator shuttles between the parties. Shuttle mediation may take longer, but it is an available option if you cannot sit together in the same room.
Does the mediator make decisions?
A mediator is not a decision maker. Rather, the disputing parties control the outcome in mediation by deciding how to resolve the issues at hand. Because parties create their own agreement, mediation helps preserve interests and maintain relationships.
What does the mediator do?
The mediator facilitates communication among disputing parties and creates a safe, supportive environment where people can share differing perspectives, voice their needs, and reach greater understanding of each other's viewpoints. The mediator listens deeply to understand all perspectives, asks questions to engage parties in problem solving, looks for common ground, and summarizes agreements.
Can I mediate if there is a Protective Order or Stalking Injunction in place?
The Protective Order or Stalking Injunction must allow for mediation. If you have an order of protection, UDR asks that you submit a copy of the order to our office prior to scheduling a mediation session.
Does mediation replace the need for legal advice?
Mediation is an alternative to litigation, avoidance, destructive confrontation, or violence. However, mediation does not replace the need for legal advice. It is often helpful for parties to enter mediation with some understanding of the law. For that reason, parties are encouraged to seek independent legal counsel to understand their rights.
Does UDR provide legal services?
UDR does not offer legal services, legal advice, or legal representation. Parties are encouraged to seek independent legal counsel to understand their rights.
Should I bring an attorney to mediation?
It is your choice to include your attorney in mediation. It is not required that your attorney be present. You may want to consult with your attorney prior to mediation regarding this question. It is often helpful to have an attorney present during mediation because you have access to immediate advice about proposals and counsel in how to respond to proposals.
How should I prepare for mediation?
It is helpful if you prepare in advance of mediation by identifying your goals and what you would like to achieve as a result of mediation. You might also think about the issues that you and the other party need to address. It is also helpful to bring documentation that will help the other party understand how you view the situation. For example, if you are planning to divide martial assets as part of a divorce action, you will want to bring information about the property values, purchase costs, and outstanding debts owed for the property. If you will be addressing a debt claim, you will want to bring documentation about the original agreement and all payments made to date toward the debt. If child support is discussed, you will need to bring a recent pay stub and tax returns from the previous year.
If we reach agreement in mediation, will the mediator provide a summary?
The mediator may provide a written summary of agreements reached in mediation. This could be prepared during the process while parties wait, or prepared later and sent to the parties and their attorneys. This summary is not the legal document that would be filed for a divorce or modification. If a legal document is needed, then the mediator should initiate discussion during the session about how a legal document would be prepared and filed with the Court.
Will the mediator submit our agreement to the Court?
The mediator does not submit any summary of agreements you make during mediation to the Court; this would be the responsibility of the parties or their attorneys. If your dispute has been filed with the Court, then the mediator will submit an ADR Disposition Notice with the Court to confirm that you participated in mediation. This Notice includes the Court case number, the names of petitioner and respondent, the date of the mediation, the name and signature of the Court-qualified mediator, and the outcome of the mediation (whether there was a full agreement, partial agreement, or no agreement).
When and how was UDR founded?
Utah Dispute Resolution (UDR) was established in 1991 under the direction of the Utah State Bar Association. In 1996, UDR was incorporated as an private organization and was designated as a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization by the Internal Revenue Service in 1997. UDR has operated independently from the Utah State Bar since that time. UDR is funded primarily by private grants and donations, and from monies raised through training efforts.
- What is mediation?
- What types of disputes can be mediated?
- Why is mediation helpful?
- How does mediation work?
- What if I just can’t sit in the same room with the other party?
- Does the mediator make decisions?
- What does the mediator do?
- Can I mediate if there is a Protective Order or Stalking Injunction in place?
- Does mediation replace the need for legal advice?
- Does UDR provide legal services?
- Should I bring an attorney to mediation?
- How should I prepare for mediation?
- If we reach agreement in mediation, will the mediator provide a summary?
- Will the mediator submit our agreement to the Court?
- When and how was UDR founded?