A business contract, lease or other written contract may contain a mediation clause. By using such a clause, the parties to the contract agree to mediate any future disputes. As with any clause, all parties must agree to it, and the following sample mediation clauses do not have to be used “as is” in order to access the services of WAMS or an affiliated USAM office.
WAMS Mediation Clause
In the event a dispute shall arise between the parties to this [contract, lease, etc.], the parties agree to participate in at least four hours of mediation in accordance with the mediation procedures of Washington Arbitration & Mediation Service. The parties agree to share equally in the costs of the mediation and cooperate fully in the effort to schedule a mediation session within 30 days of a mediation request by either party to this [contract, lease, etc.]..
WAMS Med-Arb Clause
To provide finality in a dispute resolution clause, many parties include an arbitration provision, in the event the dispute is not settled during mediation. A mediation clause such as the one above would be followed by language that says: In the event the dispute is not resolved through mediation, the parties agree to immediately proceed to arbitration, either on the same day or within [ ] days of the mediation date, by agreement of the parties. The parties agree to share equally in the costs of the arbitration and cooperate fully in the effort to schedule the arbitration hearing. The arbitrator shall have the authority to award all mediation and arbitration costs to the prevailing party, at the discretion of the arbitrator. The award of the arbitrator shall be considered final and binding on the parties.