Mediation is essentially a supervised negotiation session between two or more parties. It is an informal and non-adversarial process whose objective is to reach a mutually acceptable and voluntary agreement. With mediation, all decision-making authority rests entirely with the parties. The mediator acts as a facilitator, guiding the parties in identifying issues, engaging in joint problem-solving, and exploring creative settlement alternatives.
Although the process is voluntary and nonbinding, it results in a strikingly high settlement rate. Parties are generally more satisfied with a mediated solution created by them than with an outcome imposed on them by a judge or jury.
The use of mediation is popular in both the private and public sectors, particularly for legal and business disputes. The WAMS panel of professional mediators is recognized for its depth of experience and creative approaches to conflict resolution throughout the Pacific Northwest.