Role Of Mediator
Mediation leaves the decision power totally and strictly with the parties. The mediator does not decide what is "fair" or "right," does not assess blame nor render an opinion on the merits or chances of success if the case were litigated. Rather, the mediator acts as a catalyst between opposing interests attempting to bring them together by defining issues and eliminating obstacles to communication, while moderating and guiding the process to avoid confrontation and ill will. The mediator will, however, seek concessions from each side during the mediation process.
Unlike a judge or an arbitrator, the mediator won’t decide the outcome of the case. The mediator's job is to help the disputants to resolve the problem through a process that encourages each side to:
- a. identify the strengths and weaknesses of their case
- b. understand that accepting less than expected is the hallmark of a fair settlement, and
- c. agree on a satisfactory solution.
The primary goal is for all parties to work out a solution they can live with and trust. Because the mediator has no authority to impose a decision, nothing will be decided unless both parties agree to it. The process focuses on solving problems in an economical manner for instance, taking into account the cost of litigation rather than uncovering the truth or imposing legal rules.