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Mediation Services
Meet the Mediators


Mediation is a process used to resolve disputes. A mediator brings parties together to assist them in developing their own solution. It allows the parties to maintain control of their dispute and determine their own agreements. It often is a faster and less expensive way to address differences.

Mediators are neutral, unbiased third parties who facilitate negotiations. They have no interest in the outcome of the conflict.
  Frequently Asked Questions on Mediation and Processes


Table of Contents

  1. What is Mediation?
  2. Why is mediation helpful?
  3. How does mediation differ from arbitration?
  4. What makes SCMP unique?
  5. If we reach a settlement, is it legally binding?
  6. What if we can't reach agreement?

What is Mediation?

Mediation is often called "facilitated negotiation". Usually, a mediator brings parties together and offers them the opportunity to create their own solution to their conflict. There are several aspects of the process which must be present for a mediation to occur:

  • A neutral, third party must be present

  • The neutral does not have a stake in the outcome

  • An agreement to mediate must be signed

  • The need for confidentiality

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Why is mediation helpful?

Mediation is both time efficient and cost efficient. It is a faster, less expensive method to address differences. Studies have shown that mediated agreements are more likely to be followed due to their voluntariness.  Often, once a judgment is issued by the courts, collection can be troublesome. Mediation has the ability to address these issues and design an agreement which is inclusive of an immediate transfer of funds or change in behaviors. We also offer the parties a unique opportunity to tell their story, in its entirety, which sometimes is more important than receiving a monetary award from the court. Mediation is said to preserve relationships and build bridges. Litigation very often, results in a winner and a loser, with a permanent chasm between the parties. It is also a process which can allow for resolution for outcomes where the law is insufficient and underdeveloped, as in the case of animal law.

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How does mediation differ from arbitration?

In mediation the parties have more control of process and outcome. Mediators are process experts, not decision-makers.  A mediator will help parties to reach agreement, but cannot impose or dictate a settlement.  This means if you choose to settle a matter during the mediation process and the other side does also, your matter will be resolved and you will not have to go through the expense and pain of litigation. Is there a role for my attorney? Your attorney can play an important role by advising you, clarifying legal issues, and helping to draw up agreements. At Southern California Mediation Partners (SCMP) we are accustomed to working closely with parties and their attorneys to further the shared goal of resolution. Do you receive a percentage of the settlement? No.  Mediators work on an hourly fee basis (you will find our fee schedule on the link entitled Fee Schedule). This fee can be paid by one or both parties, in any allocation arrangement they agree upon.  In some cases a fixed fee rate can be agreed upon instead.

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What makes SCMP unique?

At SCMP we offer a unique way of mediating your matter. By offering you the opportunity to utilize the talents of our mediators in a cross gender, cross faith, cross disciplinary based approach ,you are able to have a highly unique form of mediation not found in other mediation services.  You can receive both a male and female perspective on a matter from professionals who differ in several ways, each of which is highly beneficial in the settlement process.  Our male mediator is an attorney with over thirty years of litigation experience. He has participated in hundreds of mediations and is a recipient of a Certificate of Mediation from Pepperdine University=s Strauss Institute.  He is also a current or past board member of several Christian organizations as well as a past member of his church council.  He brings to your mediation a unique approach to conflict resolution.  Our female mediator has a Master of Dispute Resolution from the Strauss Institute at Pepperdine and is uniquely qualified in all aspects of mediation, from marital and child custody, to animal matters and real estate.  She is versatile and broad based.   Her eleven years of experience within the court system and in private practice, allows her to offer a layperson=s perspective of the advantage of the mediation process.

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If we reach a settlement, is it legally binding?

Yes, either the mediation will close with a signed agreement, or the attorneys for the parties will commit to ending the lawsuit with a formal settlement and release agreement.   We always recommend a formal agreement is prepared before the parties leave the mediation.  Some courts require that process, particularly if a case in litigation is required to go to mediation prior to the commencement of the case

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What if we can't reach agreement?

You are free to return to the conflict, or if litigation has not commenced, to bring your matter to litigation, if you choose to do so. The mediation process you have gone through remains confidential, and your mediator cannot be called to testify in court, if you choose to litigate after mediation.  

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