Common Objections to Mediation

There are a number of common objections to mediation.  Here are the most common objections to mediation and responses to those objections.

Will I get a bad deal in mediation?

You will only get a bad deal in mediation if you accept a bad deal.  You are not required to reach agreement in mediation and the mediator has no ability to make a decision for you.  It is always fair to “sleep on it” or to go get legal advice before accepting a deal.

I’m concerned about the cost of mediation.

Mediation tends to cost far less than the litigation.  In fact, many mediations are finished for less than the cost of one attorney’s retainer fee.  Mediation fees are typically split between the parties.  Since mediators charge by the hour or day you will know exactly what your mediation bill will be.

Do we really need mediation?  Can’t we do this on our own?

You may not need mediation.  However, most people will benefit by the expertise and guidance of having trained professional assist with your case.  Even if you have already come up with the general agreement, the mediator can still help optimize your agreement and then assist you to “make it legal.”  Further, working with a mediator helps insure that you don’t overlook anything or prepare your documents incorrectly.

I don’t want to do mediation because the mediator can’t give legal advice.

Mediators cannot give legal advice, but they should be able to talk to you about the general rules and realistic range of possible outcomes.  If you feel like you need legal advice you are welcome to consult with or hire an attorney.  Additionally, attorneys can be present in mediation.

The other person proposed the mediator; how do I know this person will be neutral?

Mediation is premised on neutrality.  The mediator is required to disclose whether there is any reason why he or she knows the other person or could not be neutral for any other reason.  If you are concerned about the mediator’s neutrality, address it with the mediator.  Alternatively, feel free to select a new mediator.


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