Frequently Asked Questions about Mediation
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions. If you need more information, please, please do not hesitate to contact us.
What is mediation?
ECBA mediation is a voluntary alternative to the courts. It is different because the mediator, a trained neutral attorney, does not judge the case or make a decision. Rather, the mediator helps the parties to communicate with each other to reach their own solution.
What type of issues can be mediated?
Mediation can be used in any civil matter, but ECBA mediation is intended primarily for three types of cases: 1) disputes between parties involving civil claims of less than $100,000; (2) disputes involving family law issues; and (3) disputes between parties that could be resolved without a monetary settlement.
When is the best time to use mediation?
Mediation is often used early on, sometimes even before legal papers are filed, in order to prevent conflicts from growing. Yet mediation is a genuine option at any time before trial, as long as both parties are willing to participate.
What if I don't have an attorney?
It is not necessary to be represented by an attorney to participate in mediation. Just keep in mind that the mediator cannot provide legal advice to either party. If you already have an attorney, or you intend to hire one, you should consult with him or her about using ECBA mediation.
How is the mediator selected?
The ECBA has a list of trained mediators from which you and the other party will choose. Information about each mediator is available for you to review on the ECBA web site or you may visit the ECBA office and review hard copies of the profiles. Download mediator profiles here.
How much will it cost? ECBA mediation cost is only $300 per party for a session lasting up to three hours. One party may pay both parties' fees if s/he wishes. If more than the initial three hours is needed, additional fees apply at an hourly rate, as detailed in the Guidelines.
How does the program work?
First, make sure that each party involved in the dispute agrees to mediation. Next, complete and return the Request to Mediate form, along with the fee, to the ECBA. The mediator will contact the parties to schedule a mutually agreeable time and place for the mediation. The mediator may also ask the parties for more information at that time.
What happens at the mediation?
Typically, a mediation session includes time for each party to speak without interruption; facilitated conversation between the parties; input from the parties' attorneys, if they are present; and often, separate "caucus" sessions where each party holds private discussions with the mediator. Agreements, if reached, are written by the parties with the help of the mediator.