The Director of the Association of Professional Mediators recently stated: “We are rebelling against the way the organized practice of law has evolved in the United States during the 20th century and we are embracing and promoting an alternative way of resolving conflict. We are rebelling against the existing system of conflict resolution and challenging individuals, groups, businesses and governments to change the way they view and respond to conflict.”
Mediation is a court-approved process in which a trained neutral person, called a mediator, encourages and facilitates the resolution of a dispute between two or more parties. Mediation is informal and non-adversarial, with the objective of helping the parties reach a mutually acceptable and voluntary agreement.
Courts of Pennsylvania and other states are presently mandating that both parties to the action are required to participate in the mediation process as a step in the litigation but aims to discourage the adversarial relationships so often created and maintained in typical court settings.
Requiring a process of mediation take place, the courts have substantiated the impact it created on both the individual parties to a conflict as well the positive impact mediation has on society as a whole.
Successful mediation requires imagination, understanding and willingness to be committed to the outcome of the process itself.