What is Mediation?
Mediation is a conflict resolution process in which parties to a dispute (and, in some cases, their attorneys) meet in a controlled environment with a neutral mediator who assists them to constructively communicate, negotiate, and problem solve to resolve differences and reach agreement.
Mediation is voluntary. Parties enter mediation freely and may choose to discontinue mediation at any time. Each party also decides freely whether to enter into an agreement with the other party to resolve a dispute; no agreement or outcome may be imposed on anyone at mediation.
Mediation is confidential. The parties agree at the start to keep their conversations confidential. The mediator also agrees to keep what is said in mediation confidential. Additionally, Vermont law will prevent much of what is said at mediation from being disclosed or used as evidence in subsequent legal proceedings, if any.
Mediation is collaborative. Because agreement requires the consent of all parties, and no one can impose an agreement or outcome on anyone else, parties are motivated to work together through conflict and disagreement to resolve the issues that divide them.
Mediation is an opportunity for parties to constructively address conflict empowered by their active participation and control over outcomes. Parties can leave stressful conflict behind, repair damaged relationships, and productively engage the future.