Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in which two or more parties voluntarily involve a neutral third party to assist in negotiating a settlement for which there is generally no trial or hearing. Mediation is often more desirable than ‘ordinary’ negotiation because the process can be kept confidential and because it is a relatively inexpensive form of dispute resolution.
The two major types of mediation are directive mediation and facilitative mediation. In directive mediation, the mediator listens to both parties claims and evaluates them from a neutral perspective for the purposes of encouraging an advantageous settlement between the parties. In facilitative mediation, the mediator seeks to facilitate negotiation between the parties and encourage them to formulate their own settlement.
Based on the needs of the interested parties, mediation can facilitate either non-monetary or monetary remedies. Non-monetary remedies are generally prescribed in domestic or family law situations, business situations and transactions, and other civil disputes; however, personal injury cases generally require some form of monetary relief, which can be provided through structured settlements, provisions for medical care, or annuities.
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