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Mediation Preparation Guide for Small Claims, Civil, and Real Estate Cases

The Mediator's Role is to assist each of the parties in defining the issues and exploring the possible solutions in order to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement in a safe, non-adversarial environment.  The parties preparation before mediation can have a big impact on resolving the conflict.


Be Prepared for Mediation: 


Schedule adequate time for the mediation.  Most mediations last between one to three hours.  Some are longer, depending on the number and complexity of the

issues involved.  Plan to be available for the entire day.

Schedule care of minor children in advance:  Children are not allowed in mediation.  Decision making will require your full attention.

The number of participants attending mediation will be kept to a minimum:  Generally only the parties, their attorneys (if desired,) and the mediator will attend 

the mediation.  Any person wishing to attend mediation, other than those just mentioned, MUST be agreed upon by the parties PRIOR TO the mediation.  

Parties need to determine whether or not they wish to have an attorney attend the mediation with them or whether to attend without attorneys:  If

parties attend without attorneys they will be allowed to contact the attorney during mediation if needed.  Arrangements for availability of their attorney must be made by 

each participant.

Bring any documentation or related paperwork with you to the mediation:  Bring all documents you would take with you to court to present your case.

Notes taken during mediation will be collected by the mediator and destroyed:  Since mediation is confidential, no record from the mediation will be kept except

for the agreement.  Any notes taken during the medation are destroyed after mediation has been concluded.

Audio or video recordings of the medation are not allowed:  Those present in mediation will be asked to silence phones.  

The mediation agreement may become a part of the court file if the case has been referred or ordered by the judge:  Generally, all parties sign the mediation

agreement when one is reached.  The signed document is then presented to the judge for his or her approval.  If adopted by the court the agreement is filed with the court

case and is enforcable by the court.  Cases not filed with the court will leave with only the signatures of the parties and the mediator.  

The parties or the mediator may discontinue the medation session at any time:  Parties are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity for settlement

afforded by mediation.  They should consider possible solutions to each issue prior to the mediation, but sould also be willing to explore additonal options for settlement

 presented during mediation. 

Come to mediaton willing to make a good faith effort at settlement.  The overall agreement rate for the Early Settlement - Central Program is generally between

70-80 percent each year.  You are in good hands with Early Settlement Mediators.

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