Frequently Asked Questions

When should we go to mediation?

A mediator is a neutral helper for a difficult conversation. Mediation does not require that you have a lawsuit or a lawyer. It can be helpful for any difficult conversation where all possible outcomes should be explored.

Will a mediator tell us what to do?

My style of mediation is to facilitate the conversation and help you identify your own interests and solutions. You remain in control of the outcome. By contrast, other mediators may use an evaluative approach and may recommend a particular solution.

Do I need a lawyer before I go to mediation?

A mediator can not provide legal advice. There are a number of alternatives for seeking legal advice before, during or after mediation. You may bring a lawyer to a mediation if you choose.

Can we have a translator in mediation?

Yes. At an additional cost I will locate a professional translator. You may bring your own translator if it is agreeable to both parties. I also speak Spanish as a second language and can conduct short mediation sessions in Spanish if both parties speak Spanish.

Where will the mediation take place?

I offer both remote and in-person mediation. Remote mediation could be over phone or video conference call.  During scheduling I will work to identify a location that is agreeable to everyone, which could even be your own location. There are several local offices, community buildings and private rooms in restaurants which I commonly use for mediation. 

What if I don’t trust the other party?

Mediation requires that all parties come to negotiate in good faith. No one will force you to talk about or do anything you don’t want to do. Recording of any kind is not allowed during mediation.

Do I have to see the other party during mediation?

It is common for the parties to be in separate rooms during mediation with the mediator going back and forth. Contact me to discuss your particular situation.

What if someone yells or uses offensive language during the mediation?

I will set ground rules at the beginning of mediation and maintain an expectation that the parties should follow those rules.

How can a mediator really be neutral?

A mediator is committed to remaining neutral and seeing the good in both parties. I take steps to ensure that I do not personally know either party to the dispute, and will openly discuss any association with both parties. 

Will the mediator keep what we discuss confidential?

TMCA Credentialed mediators are bound by ethical standards and guidelines of the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association and Texas law to maintain confidentiality. The only exception is if the mediator believes someone is in danger and then the mediator is required to make a report to the appropriate authorities.

What will happen during mediation?

The mediator will make introductory remarks and introduce ground rules. Everyone will have a chance to make an introductory statement. After that, the mediator will ask questions to uncover individual interests and begin to get everyone thinking about mutually beneficial options for moving forward. Anytime that agreement is reached, the mediator will encourage the parties to write it down and have everyone sign the agreement.

What if I start to feel uncomfortable after the mediation starts?

You are free to choose to take a break at any time. You may also end the mediation at any time.

How many mediators will be there?

It is sometimes helpful two have mediators at the table, but I will be sure to discuss this possibility with you when you schedule a mediation.

What if we still can’t agree?

Through a proven process mediators help parties come to an agreement about how to move forward.  In my experience, about 70 percent of the time an agreement is reached through mediation. However, no one will make a decision for you, and you can end the mediation at any time.

Is mediation expensive?

I offer a unique introductory fee scale for some cases, because I seek to make my services accessible in a broader range of conflicts. Mediation can prevent a great deal of expense in legal fees and a multitude of other expenses involved in ongoing conflict.

How does scheduling work?

Your call or email is completely confidential. We will discuss whether mediation is the right option for your situation. When you are ready, you contact the other party and invite them to mediation. They can contact me directly for more information and I will help negotiate a time and location that work for everyone.