Most Americans are familiar with the basis of the judicial process, if only because of daytime TV. It is likely that you have seen popular television shows on both civil and criminal court cases before. However, the mediation process does not seem to capture the popular imagination as well, and thus has not had a spot in the limelight.
Keep in mind that mediation can look different depending on the circumstances surrounding it. However, according to FindLaw, both parties may or may not have legal representation and the mediation will take place in a private, neutral place.
Are lawyers necessary for mediation?
Not necessarily. It is generally up to the individual parties whether or not they would like to work with personal lawyers during the mediation process. The mediator him or herself is not affiliated with either side and remains neutral.
In some mediation sessions, the parties may appreciate additional personal legal counsel to guide them through the mediation process. However, keep in mind that a mediation session is not a courtroom and the mediation is not a judge. Even with the presence of lawyers, the majority of mediation sessions are non-binding.
Where does mediation take place?
This depends upon the preferences of the disputing parties. However, usually both parties agree upon the location in advance and it is in a private area that has no spectators. However, it is also possible that further mediation processes after the initial meeting may take place over the phone, particularly in non-inflammatory situations. Mediation, in many instances, is a cost-effective, low-stress way to manage disputes.