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Guide to Court Ordered Mediation


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People often go to court to resolve their disputes, but the court process can sometimes be long and stressful with no agreeable results by either party. Mediation can be one of the solutions to whatever the issue may be, so in this blog post, we will be discussing what court-ordered mediation is and much more. 

What is Court-Ordered Mediation?

Court-ordered mediation occurs when two disputing parties find themselves in a legal courtroom. Before the judge gives any trial or date on their issue, they require both parties to go to mediation to find a reasonable resolution. 

Benefits of Mediation 

The mediation process can occur in various situations, as part of a courtroom process, or parties can choose to go independently. There are many benefits to mediation. Let’s dive deeper and take a look at some of these benefits.

  • Through mediation, each party has a say in the matter, and each party would understand one another’s point of view on the issue. 
  • Whatever takes place at the mediation is in your hands. You can control the end time during mediation, and you can choose what’s agreeable or not. If there is no amicable agreement at the end of the process, your rights are not lost. The matter can still be decided in court by a judge. 
  • Unlike a trial where sessions are open to the public or even recorded, one of the benefits of mediation is that they are private. Some mediation sessions can also take place virtually or by phone. 
  • Mediation can be faster, cheaper, and more effective than having the case decided by a court. 

How do I prepare for a mediation session?

Preparing for a mediation session can be a bit stressful, and sometimes fear can take over. Therefore, we will discuss a few tips on how to prepare for a mediation session.

  • Consider writing whatever you want to discuss at the session or think about what’s most important to you and others. For example, note the topics that need to be resolved and the questions you need to ask the other person. 
  • Prepare essential resources you think are crucial. The mediation session is not a trial. Therefore, parties should bring documents and information that would help the discussion and answer questions. Some mediators can permit lawyers to be at the sessions, so ask your mediator or mediator program if the lawyer can participate. 
  • Plan ahead for your mediation session. Give yourself lots of time because sessions can vary in length.
  • Mediators are there to assist with the process, and if it doesn’t work out, you will not lose any of your rights.  So just relax and be calm; it’s less stressful than you might think. 

Tips for successful mediations

Keep in mind that mediation sessions are between both parties, so it is essential to listen to the other person’s point of view, keep an open mind, and listen carefully to new information. Be sure to ask questions to be precise about what’s being discussed. Mediation can sometimes be lengthy so try to focus on the crucial things to get a reasonable resolution. 

During your mediation session, either party may stumble upon unique ways to solve a problem, and you may also discover other ways to resolve that hadn’t been considered. So be sure to think wisely and carefully about how you’re going to implement a solution. Ensure all the specific details are discussed, like when something needs to happen and how that action can be performed. 

Food for thought, the mediator, wouldn’t decide what happens or pressure you into an agreement; you are in control of the outcome, and you can end the process at any time. 

Why should you hire a lawyer to help with your case if it does go to court?

If your case goes to court, you can hire a lawyer to help you with legal advice and protect your legal rights. 

Common misconceptions about court-ordered mediation sessions

There are various misconceptions about court-ordered mediations that could have people second-guessing and even doubting the process. Let’s take a look at some of these misconceptions. 

  • Court-ordered mediations are a waste of time – Mediation sessions are not a waste of time; having these sessions between both parties is great because they get to let off what’s on their chest, and they’re opening up about whatever the problem is to get to a favorable resolution. 
  • The mediator has complete control of the session and has control of settlement – The mediator is not in control of the session. The parties are in control. The mediation is only there to help the parties look at the interests that each one has in the case, find where each falls short, and help them arrive at a reasonable resolution to solve their issue. 
  • There is no need for court order mediation; give me my court date – The reality is that both parties believe that they are right and the other is wrong. However, the court may require individuals to attend court-ordered mediation to help them resolve the process, so persons don’t clog up the court’s docket. The judges usually have lots of documents to go through, so if both parties can resolve their issue before they go to trial, that would be the best.
  • There is no need for mediation; the case won’t settle anyway – You may say that the case will not settle, and you need to go in front of the judge or jury to get the final say. However, most issues do get resolved at the end of mediation. As long as both parties enter the session with good faith, many mediation cases do settle. 

When is court-ordered mediation not an option?

Sometimes court-ordered mediation may not be an option if either party doesn’t want to come together and reach an agreement on their own. If they can’t, the parties would have to go back to the court and tell the judge they could not resolve with mediation. The judge will then issue date and time for the individuals to have a hearing or the trial date to make their decision. 


This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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