What Facilitative Mediation "Is"
(and what it "Is Not")

Facilitative Mediation
is ...

Facilitative Mediation is
a way of returning control to the parties.  In a lawsuit, the court makes a determination or judgment that is imposed on the parties.  In mediation, the resolution will be acceptable to all parties or it can be rejected by any of the parties in the dispute.  If a mutually satisfactory resolution or mediated agreement is not reached, the parties still have the option to pursue a lawsuit.  There is no harm in trying mediation.

Facilitative Mediation is substantially less expensive and less adversarial than a lawsuit.

Facilitative Mediation is a private and confidential meeting of disputing parties and cannot be used by any party in legal action. Therefore, mediation is not open to the public, other observers or non-parties to the dispute.  The parties may request the services of experts (such as accountants, appraisers, etc.) to provide information that can assist the disputants in arriving at an agreement.  The experts are providers of fact, not advocates, and will depart when their testimony or services are concluded. 

Family members or other supporters will not be allowed in the mediation session except in very rare situations and then only to the extent they can contribute or assist in the constructive efforts of the mediation.  In these very rare events, the non-party participants are allowed only with advance approval of the Mediator and the consent of the opposing parties.

Facilitative Mediation is a safe environment where disputing parties meet with a trained Mediator who maintains an atmosphere of mutual respect and assists the parties in communicating and reaching a mutually satisfactory resolution. The Mediator serves as a voice of reason, assisting each party in clarifying and expressing their interests while stimulating creative thinking concerning possible solutions.

As the parties communicate their particular interests, they clarify what is important and begin to sift out the erroneous and irrelevant allowing a mutually satisfactory resolution to appear.  Disputants frequently discover their perspective of the situation has been colored and distorted over time by the apparent rigidity of the other party. As the disputing parties are able to communicate, differences dissolve and cooperation increases.

Facilitative Mediation
is not ...

Facilitative Mediation is not
a trial or judicial hearing where a judgment is rendered and blame is assigned. In court, both parties lose with one side ordered to lose more than the other.  Only the attorneys win!  Court action is appropriate when any of the disputing parties refuse to be reasonable and discuss their differences in the safe environment of mediation.

Facilitative Mediation is not a compromise, where both sides willingly give up or lose something they want.  While compromise is better than litigation, with compromise, both sides still lose.

 Facilitative Mediation is not Caucus (or Shuttle) Mediation where the parties are kept separated and the Mediator
“Shuttles” between the parties with the communication, information or suggestions the Mediator believes to be helpful. This is the type of mediation commonly used by Attorney Mediators.

 The term Caucus (by itself) is a technical term used to refer to a private conversation the parties may have with the Mediator during the mediation process, but outside the presence of the opposing side(s).  During a caucus, the parties speak in confidence and the Mediator will not share the comments if the parties request a matter be kept confidential.

The Caucus is available and frequently utilized in Facilitative Mediation, especially when one of the parties does not want to make negative comments about the other party in their presence for fear of reprisal or confrontation. Also, one of the parties may be willing to concede something to the Mediator, but is not yet sure they are ready to expose that fact to the other side.

In these cases, a party may ask the Facilitative Mediator to caucus or speak privately; however, the Facilitative Mediator does not allow him or herself to interfere with the direct communication between the parties.

Click here for a Comparison of Facilitative Mediation with other forms of Dispute Resolution:





 Click here for the Specifics of Metamora's Mediation Process.