What is Mediation?
Mediation is a process in which trained, impartial persons (called “neutrals”) help the disputing parties understand each other’s concerns, identify possible solutions and reach a mutual agreement. For our mediations, Community Boards provides a panel of three mediators.
Mediation is different from counseling, therapy or advocacy. The mediator does not take sides or push for any one solution. Mediators maintain a neutral role. A mediator has no decision-making authority. Unlike a judge or an arbitrator, a mediator does not decide what is right or wrong or make suggestions about ways to resolve a problem.
At Community Boards, mediation is based on the voluntary cooperation and good faith participation of all parties. All parties must be willing to participate.
Mediation is confidential, and at Community Boards all information shared during a mediation is protected by the California Evidence Code.
Mediation focuses on the future, not the past, and what will resolve the conflict. Mediation does not replace the need for legal advice or counseling if your “rights” in a situation are the concern. Mediation, however, can be a cost-effective alternative to hiring a lawyer or taking someone to court.
This is how our mediation process works:
- You contact us and explain the problem. We’ll ask questions and answer yours.
- If you decide to proceed, we require a $40 payment to open your case. (No one is turned away for lack of funds.)
- We contact the other person(s) and explain our mediation process and invite them to participate in mediation.
- If all parties agree to meet, we schedule a time that works for everyone.
- We find the best mediators to work with you depending on the specific issues you are having . We typically assign three mediators to each mediation.
- The mediators help the parties discuss the problem and then identify the best options for resolving it. The disputants themselves negotiate the most workable solution.
- Final agreements may be oral or written. They represent a true commitment of all parties to resolve the problem.
Mediations can be scheduled mornings, afternoons or evenings, Monday through Friday, or Saturday mornings. Most mediations take about three hours.
You can download our Neighborhood Mediation Program brochure here: Neighborhood Mediation Program.
To start a mediation call us at (415) 920-3820, Monday-Thursday, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM. You can also use our online form by clicking “Start s Mediation” below.