For Parties Wishing to Resolve Their Dispute Without Lawyers
Can anyone use mediation?
Generally speaking, yes, so long as all parties agree. There are only a few instances where mediation is not permitted or may not be advised.
When can mediation be helpful?
Mediation can be helpful at any stage of dispute, including before suit is filed.
What do I need to do before mediation?
The mediator will outline for the parties anything that is helpful in advance of the mediation to either exchange with the other party or share with the mediator.
Do I need a lawyer?
You do not need a lawyer to mediate a matter, but in some cases parties may wish to have lawyers present. Parties typically agree in advance of the mediation whether lawyers will attend with them.
When parties to a divorce mediation reach an agreement, parties are strongly encouraged to have an attorney review the written agreement prior to filing.
How do I request mediation?
Call us at 401-379-2KEY (2539) or email us through our website. We will forward an intake form that requests information that will help us prepare for an initial phone conversation with you.
How is the mediation scheduled?
Once we confirm all parties are willing to participate, we will confirm whether the parties prefer to meet in person or virtually and whether they would like to book an open-ended hourly timeframe, half day mediation or full day mediation. We will then send the parties an Agreement To Mediate. Upon receipt of that signed Agreement and the required retainer fee, the mediation will be scheduled for a date and time that is mutually convenient for all parties.
What happens during mediation?
We gather either in person or virtually, the mediator establishes procedures and each side gets to discuss and/or present anything they believe is important to resolution of the dispute. The mediator controls the process and guides the discussion, but all resolution is collaborative. Mediation is confidential. Unlike a judge or an arbitrator, a mediator will not decide your case for you. If an agreement is reached, the mediator will draft a Mediation Agreement with the parties during a session, which the parties may opt to sign or take to legal counsel for review.
How long does it usually take?
Depending upon the complexity of the dispute we normally set aside at least a half-day. Some matters may resolve more quickly than that, while in some instances, another session may be necessary. Additional sessions are only scheduled if both parties agree.
How much does it cost?
Generally speaking, a half-day session is $1250, which is usually split equally by the parties (i.e. $625 each) and includes:
All premediation communication with parties and/or others;
Document review, if applicable;
Mediation – then, if successful,
Preparation of a Draft agreement, revisions and final Mediation Agreement.
If the Agreement is required to be filed in any RI or MA court or agency, while we are lawyers, as mediators in your matter we are not ethically able to file. We strongly advise you take your Mediation Agreement to an attorney to review and file on your behalf.
Is it better to do mediation in person or virtually?
Provided there are no governmental orders limiting in person gatherings, we can accommodate both and it is a matter of personal preference of the parties. Some parties prefer the convenience of the remote mediation while some prefer the in-person interaction. In-person mediations are conducted at our 650 Ten Rod Road, North Kingstown offices. Mediators may also be willing to travel to other mutually agreed upon locations. Virtual mediations are conducted using Zoom. You do not need to have a Zoom account although you do need to download or launch it. In our experience, remote and in-person mediations are equally effective.