What is the effect of an agreement reached in mediation?

If agreement is reached, it should be put in writing and the terms should be communicated to the court if the parties agree. Any agreement reached in mediation is enforceable as a contract and may be entered by the court as an order dismissing the case, if consistent with law and public policy. If the parties do not reach an agreement, that should be reported back by the neutral, without any comment or recommendation. Where there is no settlement, the court can schedule a pre-trial conference and ask the parties whether issues were narrowed or whether the case can be streamlined because of the progress made.
What can the mediator report back to the court?

Mediators can report that an agreement was reached and the terms of that agreement, or that an agreement was not reached. Mediators can also report that the orientation session did not take place or that the mediation did not take place.

What are some of the benefits of mediation ?

·  Voluntary, non-adversarial, and less costly: people work together to find a solution instead of spending their time and money fighting to win a victory by defeating their opponent.

·  Confidential: protects your privacy and helps avoid bad publicity.

·  Creative and tailored resolutions: encourages participants to explore creative options for resolution that may not be considered without going through the mediation process.

·  No rights are given up by the participants: if mediation does not result in a full agreement, the participants still have all the other avenues for resolution available to them.

·   Streamlining issues: even if the participants do not reach a full agreement, many report that they still benefit from going to mediation. They may reach a partial agreement which will streamline the issues in their conflict or they may have a better understanding of each other's issues and perspectives.

·  Compliance: agreements reached in mediation are more likely to be followed because the participants helped create them, rather than having a decision imposed upon them.