How Long is a Personal Mediation Meeting?
As you may instinctively suspect, there is no hard-and-fast clear answer. In most cases, mediation will take from 4-5 hours to a full day. If you are facing mediation, let the Pensacola accident lawyers at Searcy Denney help.
The 2020 Florida Statutes Title V Chapter 44 outlines the law regarding mediation in Florida. Nonetheless, anyone can attempt to solve a problem through mediation, which may take as little as a few hours without the need for judicial intervention.
When litigation has commenced, it’s common for courts to require some form of informal dispute resolution, such as mediation or arbitration, because, well, it works. Common types of disputes that can be resolved through mediation include:
- Personal injury matters
- Small business disputes
- Medical malpractice claims
- Family law issues
- Product liability claims
- Premises liability claims
- Real estate disputes
- Breach of contract issues
Stages of Mediation
Mediation is often thought of as an informal process in which a friendly mediator chats with the parties in dispute until they suddenly drop their hostilities and work together for the common good. This is rarely entirely accurate.
Mediation is a multi-stage process designed to get results. It is less formal than a trial or arbitration, but there are distinct stages to the mediation process that account for the system’s high success rate. Most mediations proceed as follows:
- Mediator’s Opening Statement. After the participants are seated at a table, the mediator makes introductions, explains the mediation rules, discusses the goals of the mediation, and encourages each side to work cooperatively toward a settlement.
- Participants’ Opening Statements. Each party is encouraged to describe the dispute and its consequences, financial and otherwise. While one person is speaking, the other person is not allowed to interrupt.
- Joint Discussion. If the participants are genuinely participatory, the mediator might encourage the parties to respond directly to the opening statements to define the issues further.
- Private One-Off Meetings. The mediator may allow each party a chance to meet privately with the mediator. Each side will be placed in a separate room, and the mediator will go between the two rooms to discuss each position’s strengths and weaknesses and exchange offers. The mediator continues the exchange as needed during the time allowed. These private meetings comprise the essence of the mediation.
- Joint Negotiation. After the one-off meetings, the mediator might bring the parties back together to negotiate directly, although this is relatively unusual. The mediator usually doesn’t get the parties back together until a settlement is reached or the time allotted for the mediation ends.
- Closure. If the parties reach an agreement, the mediator will likely put the main provisions in writing and ask each side to sign the deal’s written summary. If the parties didn’t reach an agreement, the mediator will help the parties determine whether it would be fruitful to meet again later or continue negotiations by phone.
Contact the Pensacola Accident Lawyers for Help With Your Mediation
Mediation may be an effective and relatively inexpensive way to settle disputes amicably. If you are considering mediation, contact the Pensacola accident lawyers at Searcy Denney. We offer a free consultation and work on a contingency fee basis. If you need our help, contact us online today.