Why Mediation?

It’s YOUR process

Rather than putting a dispute in the hands of a judge who has limited knowledge of the people and the situation, mediation allows community members with disagreements to voluntarily explore all of the possibilities, after fully hearing each other’s views. The process treats parties with dignity and allows them to resolve disputes on their own terms. It offers an alternative to going to court or doing nothing.

Mediation is efficient and effective

Mediations are concluded within a fraction of the time and expense needed to prepare and participate in arbitration or trial. More often than not, in mediation, problems are identified, issues are addressed, and solutions are implemented.

Mediation is confidential.

All parties pledge in writing not to use or disclose information received in the mediation. People who participate in mediation can feel comfortable discussing their dispute openly because nothing anyone says, does, or writes down at the meeting itself can be used later as evidence in any court proceeding.

Mediation is less stressful.

For many people, going to court is combative and time-consuming. Mediation, by contrast, is informal, emphasizing conversation and understanding. Any solution is the result of both parties arriving at a mutual agreement.  The discussion is facilitated by trained, neutral mediators who are impartial, and encourage both parties to discuss their concerns and consider options for resolution.

It’s fast, free and informal!

Compared to the months or even years that it often takes for a dispute to be settled in court, mediation can usually be set up within a week or two. Parties have an opportunity to meet face-to-face in an informal setting, at a convenient time, place and date. And the cost is absolutely FREE to residents, those who own property, or those who work in Los Altos or Los Altos Hills!

Court is still an option.

If participants can’t resolve their conflicts in mediation, or if one of the people involved refuses to take part in the meeting, the dispute can still be brought before a court. However, Los Altos Dispute Resolution Services finds that when people meet in a mediation session, 80% of the cases result in an agreement. So, mediation is a risk-free process — participants have nothing to lose, and everything to gain, by considering mediation first.