mediation is safer for both parties
In mediation, a trained neutral person helps people discuss and resolve problems, or at least narrow and clarify issues. The process encourages joint problem solving in which people gain an understanding of each other's point of view. Mediation provides a safe environment to talk through issues and feelings and to negotiate a mutually satisfactory solution. The mediator is not a decision-maker.
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In facilitative mediation or traditional mediation, a professional mediator attempts to facilitate negotiation between the parties in conflict. Rather than making recommendations or imposing a decision, the mediator encourages disputants to reach their own voluntary solution by exploring each other’s deeper interests. In facilitative mediation, mediators tend to keep their own views regarding the conflict hidden.
Although mediation is typically defined as a completely voluntary process, it can be mandated by a court that is interested in promoting a speedy and cost-efficient settlement. When parties and their attorneys are reluctant to engage in mediation, their odds of settling through court-mandated mediation are low, as they may just be going through the motions. But when parties on both sides see the benefits of engaging in the process, settlement rates are much higher.
Standing in direct contrast to facilitative mediation is evaluative mediation, a type of mediation in which mediators are more likely to make recommendations and suggestions and to express opinions. Instead of focusing primarily on the underlying interests of the parties involved, evaluative mediators may be more likely to help parties assess the legal merits of their arguments and make fairness determinations. Evaluative mediation is most often used in court-mandated mediation, and evaluative mediators are often attorneys who have legal expertise in the area of the dispute.