"Another Way"
Sunrise Mediation
Rebecca H. Hiers

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Why Mediate?


What is Mediation?

Why Mediate?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Mediation Right
for My Situation? 

Mediation has grown tremendously in popularity over the last decade, for many reasons: 

Come to Resolution Quickly:  With many courts already back-logged, it can be a long wait before a case gets to court.  With mediation, though, the Parties can work towards resolution on their own schedule. 

Private:  Mediation can provide the Parties an opportunity to resolve their dispute in private.

Future Relationship:  Sometimes it is in the Parties' best interest to have a positive working relationship with one another other in the future.  Whether in business situations, in the workplace, or in family or social settings, mediation can help individuals resolve their disputes, as well as improve how they interact with one another other.

Opportunity to be Heard:  In the courtroom setting, Parties typically get to participate only as witnesses, and are limited in what they may say.  In mediation, the parties have the opportunity to express their views and concerns, as well as their hopes and desires for the future. 

Privileged Settlement Negotiations:  In ordinary settlement negotiations, Parties must be cautious in what they say, lest their statements be introduced in court against them later on.  Mediation communications, however, increasingly are considered to be privileged.  Thus, Parties have much more freedom to speak openly and honestly with one another other about their dispute.  (The contours of the mediation privilege vary depending on the jurisdiction, and Attorneys should research this issue if they have any questions regarding applicable laws.)

Future-Focused:  In court, the emphasis is on the past, and on who did what.  Mediation looks at this issue as well, but focuses the discussion and the creative energy of the Parties onto the future - and who will do what, and when. 

Control:  When a dispute goes to court, the Judge makes key decisions that will affect the Parties' lives.  In mediation, though, it is the Parties who get to make these decisions for themselves. 

Scope:  In a legal context, only certain issues and solutions can be considered.  In mediation, the Parties usually can include almost any issue that they feel should be addressed.  The Parties also are free to be creative in developing their solutions. 

"Win-Win":  In our adversarial adjudication processes, typically one Party "wins," while the other Party "loses."  In mediation, the Parties can explore the needs behind their legal positions, thus allowing them to bargain with one another for what really is most important to them.  Often, Parties can find solutions in which both sides "win." 

Communication:  A surprising number of disputes are the result of misunderstandings or break-downs in communication.  A primary function of mediation is to assist the Parties in communicating effectively with one another.  

Save Time:  Trials and trial preparation typically take a long time.  Once the dispute has gone to trial, and the Trial Court has made a decision, the Party who loses still can appeal, and then appeal again - thus prolonging the process and the uncertainty.  In mediation, the Parties have the opportunity to sit down together and to deal with their disagreements by crafting an agreement that will put an end to their dispute. 

Save Money:  Litigation costs a great deal of money for all of the involved Parties.  Mediation, while not inexpensive, has the potential to help the Parties reach agreement in a much shorter period of time, and thus can save the Parties a great deal of expense. 

Satisfaction:  When Parties decide their future for themselves, they often are much more satisfied with the results than when someone else makes that decision for them.  Disputes usually have many facets.  When the solution addresses all aspects of the dispute, not just the legal issues, it can be far more comprehensive, and may give the Parties much more of what they want.   

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17 SW Frazer, #245
   Pendleton, OR  97801
Sunrise Mediation 541-276-4000