Corporate Social Responsibility Issues
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Difference Between Mediation and Arbitration?
Mediation is a confidential, voluntary, non-binding process which is coordinated by a trained mediator who is a neutral party who does not find facts or issue any rulings of law. A mediator’s role is to facilitate communication between two opposing participants in a dispute to help guide them to a mutual agreement.
Mediation is not arbitration. Arbitration is a private legal process which the parties agree will substitute for court litigation. The arbitrator is a decision-maker who makes rulings after hearing evidence, like a judge. The rulings of the arbitrator are legally binding and are enforceable by the courts.
Who Chooses the Mediator?
Mediators employed with Consensus Mediation Services of Central Georgia are trained certified “private mediators” who provide private mediation services.
They are not attorneys. In private mediations the participants or their attorneys choose their mediator by selecting a mediator both sides agree would be appropriate to mediate their case. Our mediation services are paid for by the participants who share the cost equally (i.e.: $200 per hour with a three-hour minimum).
Participants should try to find a mediator who has the mediation skills necessary to create a mediation environment that allows them to appropriately address their concerns which leads to a resolution they can support.
There are also “court-connected mediation programs”. In these programs, the mediators are assigned by the court. The participants or their attorney generally have no role in choosing the mediators. The mediators may be lawyers, but can also be trained certified mediators who are non-attorneys.
What are the Exceptions to the Confidentiality Rule for Mediators?
In the State of Georgia, Mediators are “Mandated Reporters”. What that means is that we are required to report to the Department of Family and Children Services, Law Enforcement and other relevant agencies any of the following issues that arise during mediation:
1. Threats of imminent violence to self or others.
2. Allegations of child abuse.
3. Threats that place any participant at the mediation in fear for their safety during the mediation or thereafter.
How Should Participants Prepare for Mediation?
Each mediation participant should come to mediation prepared to present and discuss a variety of ways to resolve the dispute to their satisfaction. It has been proven that if the participants are focused on only one solution to the dispute, it will be more difficult to reach a consensus resolution.
For mediation to be successful, participants should come prepared to provide open and honest communication and statements that include providing the other participants with all information relevant to resolving the dispute.
All participants are required to be present at the mediation including all necessary individuals with authority to make decisions related to the resolution of the mediation.
What Should You Do if You Have A Disability and Require Assistance or Accommodation?
Please let us know as soon as possible that you may need an accommodation such as sign language interpreters, alternative formats for written documents, an accessible location, etc.
You can inform our Intake Worker during your call to our office or on the Intake form on our website.
Our goal is to make sure that you have an equal opportunity to participate in mediation.