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Coastsider: News and reviews for Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach, and Montara
Mediation is a voluntary, confidential dispute resolution process in which a neutral individual (the mediator) helps parties in conflict reach a resolution of their differences. The mediator facilitates resolution but does not provide legal advice or act as attorney for the parties, who either have their own sources of legal advice or represent their own interests. Mediation ideally results in a full, legally-enforceable agreement between the parties settling all of the matters at hand. Mediation is uniquely effective in settling disputes because the parties actively participate in a guided process enabling them to identify the issues as they see them, express their feelings, reach suitable terms of settlement and attain both legal completion and a measure of emotional closure on the issues subject to mediation. Unlike trial in a court or arbitration, mediation does not involve taking evidence, adversarial proceedings or arbitrary decisions by a third party.

Among the many common applications of mediation are divorce and child custody matters, contract and other business disputes, real estate matters and neighborhood disputes. The parties can decide to mediate at any stage of a proceeding, and a settlement agreement arising from mediation is typically enforceable in court.

We believe that Coastsiders--residents of Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach and Montara--are uniquely in tune with the major reasons to use mediation instead of traditional court or arbitration proceedings.  These include:

  • Cost savings: While a mediator may charge an hourly rate similar to a litigation attorney, the cost savings of a mediated solution versus a litigated solution are in most cases substantial;
  • Confidentiality: The mediator cannot be forced to testify in court. Things said and written materials produced in a mediation cannot be introduced into evidence in court; for those reasons, parties more freely share information in a mediation;
  • Mutual endeavor: Because the parties are encouraged to speak to their interests rather than defend their positions, the parties' time and effort are invested in trying to find points of agreement rather than entirely in justifying their differences; and,
  • Flexibility and creativity: the parties are guided by a skilled "neutral", the mediator, who has conflict resolution training and is able to identify all potential avenues to resolution of a dispute, including some which could not typically be considered by a judge or arbitrator. Simply stated, there are more available resources.