What Is Mediation?

Mediation is a process for resolving disputes that allows people to be heard, to find common ground, and to create a solution that works.

Mediated discussions are intended to give all participants a chance to communicate their needs, concerns and goals. Mediation gets to the source of the conflict and brings together those who are most able to craft workable solutions. 

Our mediation framework focuses on interest-based negotiation. Our mediators help clients identify, communicate and understand all parties’ needs and goals. Our process aims to build solutions that address the real issues fueling the conflict.

Mediators guide the conversation and provide tools to help problem-solve. They do not make decisions or create solutions for you. This is your process; make it worth your time.

Who Are The Mediators And What Do They Do?

Mediators on our roster are all highly trained and well regarded professionals in the dispute resolution field. Our mediators have specialized experience and training in the agricultural fields. Mediators work with all parties to:

  • Eliminate communication obstacles
  • Facilitate a calm and rational discussion
  • Identify and clarify the issues
  • Explore options
  • Record agreements

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don’t think we can agree on anything?
By agreeing to participate in mediation, you can take an important step toward resolving a dispute. The goal of the mediation is to reach an agreement that all participants find reasonable and in their best interests.

What happens in a mediation session?
Each party gets a chance to talk about the situation from their perspective; without interruption, sometimes in the presence of the other party and sometimes with only the mediators present. The mediator will facilitate the discussion by establishing ground rules and guiding participants through a process of discovery and communication. Some of the techniques may be familiar, such as “brainstorming”, but the mediation process itself is indeed a unique experience. The mediator is there to help the parties decide what the important issues are, explore misunderstandings, illuminate listening techniques and discover solutions.

What happens when we find a solution?
If an agreement is reached, a written agreement will be drafted and each party will sign the agreement.

How much time will it take?
Each mediation is different. In most cases Six Rivers maintains a 2 ½ hour maximum for each session, and the majority of cases are resolved within one or two 2 ½ hour mediations. Breaks are generally allowed; speak to your mediator at the beginning of the session about how you prefer to handle breaks.

Is this meeting confidential?
Yes. The mediator(s) will keep confidential everything you say during the mediation. At the beginning of the mediation, you will be asked to sign a “Consent to Mediate” agreement to keep matters discussed in the mediation confidential. The mediator(s) will review the agreement with you and answer any questions you may have at that time. Mediation confidentiality covers mediators as well, and includes requests for information from the courts.

Will the mediator tell us what to do?

Case managers and mediators are not lawyers and will not give you legal advice. If at any point in the process you would like to seek legal advice, you retain the right to do so. Your mediators will act as impartial third-parties, listeners, translators, and conversation guides; they will not act as judges, arbitrators, or decision makers. Any decisions made in mediation will be agreed upon by the mediating parties, and memorialized in an agreement that you then can file through the courts, if necessary. We also offer post-mediation options for partnering with a collaborative attorney to draw up legal paperwork.

How Can Parties Make The Most Of A Mediation Session?

  • Gather and organize the documents and paperwork.
  • Create a written time line with the events to be discussed.
  • If important information is missing, tell the mediator and see if they can help locate the necessary information.
  • Make copies of important documents and label the paperwork prior to the mediation so that its easier to use it during the mediation.
  • Flag any documents that you do not want the other parties to see so that the mediator knows to keep the document confidential.
  • Remember your point of view may be different from the other parties
  • Be prepared to listen to what they have to say as well.
  • It is common in mediation to come up with more creative, open and collaborative ways to resolve the problem than can be found in other forums such as in a courtroom or before a hearing officer.
  • Keep an open mind about what might work to fix the problem.
  • Try to encourage more ideas by not immediately saying “no” to a proposal.
  • During the mediation, if you need time to think about about an issue, or would like to speak to an adviser whose opinion you value, you can do so.
  • Think of the mediation session as a conversation between you and the other parties with the mediator there to ensure that the conversation is productive and that each of you has the opportunity to speak, reflect and work together to come up with joint solutions.

Interested in Mediating?

We offer up to one hour of free, confidential consultation to explore your options and see if mediation is a good fit for your situation. You can speak to a trained, neutral mediator about what’s going on, clarify the issues, and get initial conflict coaching. Our staff will contact the other party to see if they want to move ahead with a facilitated conversation, either jointly or separately. All conversations we may have with you or the other party will remain confidential. Once all parties agree to mediation, our staff will coordinate a time that works well for all parties involved to sit down and have a productive conversation.