Mediation is a problem-solving and planning tool for discussing difficult or controversial subjects. Mediation provides a structure to have difficult conversations about topics that are often complicated, emotional, or overwhelming. Mediation can help people clear the air, figure out what they really want, and negotiate effectively.
The mediator ensures that people present their views in a respectful and fair manner. The mediator does not take sides or make decisions, but can help level the playing field so everyone gets heard. Because mediation is confidential, each side can be direct and honest. Sometimes people are unable or unwilling to recognize the real problems that divide them. Mediators can assist people to identify and clarify underlying problems so that realistic solutions can be reached.
Mediation also helps reduce stress and avoid the high costs of escalating conflict or litigation. More and more judges in New York refer cases to mediation because they believe it is a more productive way for people to manage complicated business or personal conflicts, and to reach agreements themselves.