Mediation, like collaborative law, is another form of alternative dispute resolution. However, mediation and collaborative law are very different. Mediation usually lasts one day and includes a neutral third party, a "mediator," who assists the parties in coming to a resolution usually by sending offers of settlement back and forth between the partie.Information and negotiations that take place at mediation are highly confidential. The mediation agreement signed by all parties before or at the beginning of the mediation restricts all parties from divulging information obtained through mediation. A mediator is not able to testify at trial for or against either party or even to discuss what occurred in mediation.Note that in mediation, the mediator does not make a final decision in the matter and does not give advice as to what the parties should do in a given situation. Unless the parties themselves agree, there is no settlement at mediation.
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