Southern California Mediator
Glossary of Mediation Terms
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) - The use mediation or arbitration to resolve a dispute instead of litigation.
Arbitration - A means of settling a dispute oy an impartial person without proceeding to a court trial. An arbitration process can be binding or nonbinding. Disputes in arbitration can be resolved by.a single neutral 'arbitrator or a panel of three arbitrators.
Caucus - A private and separate meeting between the mediator and each party.
Claimant - The person who makes a claim or one who asserts a right or an interest.
Confidentiality - All parties, mediators and observers taking part in a mediation will agree up front that no information revealed in the mediation process will be shared or disclosed outside the mediation.
Evaluative Mediation - A method of mediation,in which the neutral relies on his or her experience and expertise to predict possible outcomes.
Facilitative Mediation - A method of mediation in which the mediator relies on his or her people skills and persuasion to guide the parties toward a settlement, as opposed to evaluative mediation.
Fact Finding - A process by which the facts relevant to a dispute are determined in order to decide a controversy.
Impartiality - An essential attitude for a mediator. He or she shall not favor one party or the other's perspective and must treat both as equal.
Joint Sessions - Part of the mediation process where parties are brought together. The opening Joint Session consists of an introduction"by the mediator.
Mediation - A confidential, non-binding process in which a trained mediator facilitates communication between disputants and assists the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution of all or part of their dispute.
Neutral - A third party, usually either a retired judge or retired attorney, privately retained by the parties to act in a neutral capacity in the ADR process selected by the parties.
Neutral Evaluation - An evaluation where each party and their counsel present the factual and legal bases of their case to a neutral person called an "evaluator." The evaluator then gives an opinion on the strengths and weaknesses of each party's evidence and arguments and makes suggestions on how the disputes could be resolved. The evaluator is often an expert in the subject matter of the dispute with significant trial experience in the jurisdiction. The evaluator's opinion is not binding. However, it is a useful tool for attempting to negotiate a resolution of the dispute.
Non-Binding Arbitration - This process works the same way as binding arbitration except that the neutral's decision is advisory only. The parties can agree in advance to use the advisory decision as a tool in resolving their dispute through negotiation or other means.
Opening Statement - Oral presentations which take place after the mediator's opening address that allow each party to present their case.
Panelist - Disputes in arbitration can be resolved by a single neutral arbitrator or a panel of three arbitrators. A member of an arbitration panel is called a panelist. Often When an arbitration clause provides for appointment of an arbitration panel, each party selects one arbitrator to the panel and then the two appointed arbitrators will select an additional arbitrator as a chairman of the tribunal.
Respondent - In an arbitration proceeding, the respondent is a party who responds to an arbitration demand. The respondent is the equivalent of a defendant in a lawsuit.