Many people have a lot of questions regarding mediation as a legal solution. Our top-rated Everett mediation attorney, Jennifer Gogert, sat down and answered a few of the questions we hear the most.

Here are her responses:

What’s the difference between mediation and arbitration?

In mediation, as the mediator, I am a neutral third party who helps the parties reach an agreement. This requires compromise and each party moving away from their preferred positions and towards one another. Basically, I help figure out a solution. In arbitration, as the arbitrator, I make a decision and resolve the problem based on the information provided.

Do I have to be in the same room as the opposing party?

Nope. Many times mediation takes place by the “shuttle method” where I go back and forth between each party who are in separate rooms with their counsel. From time to time, the parties may choose to participate in a joint session, but that is not necessary and can be counterproductive.

I don’t think mediation will work, why should I bother?

Depending on the substantive issue, mediation may be required before the parties can go to trial, but whether required by court rule or not, mediation is a great opportunity to resolve your dispute in a way that is acceptable to you. Mediation allows the parties to maintain control over their result and allows for creative solutions. Going to trial means someone else decides what happens based solely on the evidence and governing law. For example, a couple could continue to co-own real estate through a mediation, that result is highly unlikely at trial where the court would most likely award the property to one person or order it sold.