Good mediation is more than add it all up & whack it in half. Synergistic satisfiers can co-maximize results, but they take time to develop. Great mediators are guides, educators, agents of reality, and surrogate negotiators of acumen, reframing to avoid cognitive traps like reactive devaluation (where someone refuses an offer because of who proposed it).
Agreement: Plan, roadmap, framework, structure, model, program, conspectus, picture, system, arrangement
We mediate as if our lives depend on it, because lives do.
- Mediator Randy Drew
Every good mediation is an agreement-creation workshop where self-determination is the way. Conflict can be managed more successfully & less harmfully.
Mediation is: voluntary assisted negotiation. Mediation is confidential.
During social distancing, all mediations are by video conference. We employ staggered start times, meeting with each side separately. We will ask you first, if the mediator(s) think it will be helpful to bring sides together.
You must be in a private place to observe the confidentiality of mediation.
You must be focused only on the mediation from your start time until 4:30pm. That means not mediating from work on your breaks, and not multitasking. Some mediations finish early, and they will go faster if you are able to pre-negotiate to some degree with the other side in advance.
1. Provide a safe space to end the wars and begin the peace.
2. Self-determination: Gives you the opportunity to take control & responsibility for your future.
3. Model ways to negotiate more successfully & less harmfully.
4. A detailed plan, customized by parties avoids confusion & frustration.
5. An adversarial legal system is no place for kids to grow up.
Mediators must never make recommendations to the Court. Mediation and all mediation-related conversations and communications are confidential. A mediator cannot be subpoenaed or compelled to testify, and subject to reimbursement of all expenses and fees.
Parties may be ordered to attend, but cannot be made to agree. Anyone, including the mediator(s), can end the mediation at anytime, for any reason or no reason.
Mediators will actively assist negotiating with & for both sides, offering suggestions based on experience, but never legal advice. We don’t judge you, and together you will decide the outcome. A mediator must never, never decide what your agreement will be, because that would be called "arbitration" (where a decision is imposed upon the parties).
Mediators must manage our biases, ensuring a fair opportunity for parties to create their own agreement(s). If a party feels that a mediator is unable to manage biases successfully, the party can request that a mediator recuse him or herself from the mediation. Keep in mind, as multipartial mediators, we will be actively negotiating with and for both sides, but without a personal interest in any particular outcome, other than one that we hope will bring lasting (durable) peace (reduced, more successful, less harmful disagreements) in the future for the parties involved.
Another mediator may or may not be available, and parties may also seek another mediation service provider. We offer an opportunity to mediate with us, but we are not obligated to mediate any particular conflict.
Conflict of Interest: A mediator must disclose any known conflict of interest or bias for or against a particular outcome or side. This does not extend to having worked with an attorney before, because we work with many attorneys repeatedly. The parties decide if they want to proceed with the mediation.
1. Attorneys schedule the mediation.
2. Mediations are currently remote by video conference.
3. You must remain in a private location.
4. Everyone who will participate must sign a standard “Mediation and Confidentiality” (MAC) agreement
5. You will receive a Zoom link, and a start time confirming the date chosen by attorneys.
6. Day of Mediation: You must be in a private location, focused only on the mediation.
7. Your mediators will start by speaking with the attorneys at 8:00am.
8. For comfort and safety, we provide staggered start times. One side begins at 9:00am and another at 10:00am.
9. Mediators “shuttle” back and forth.
10. We would ask your permission, before meeting all together.
11. We are a teaching and learning organization. You may have a mediator observing confidentially.
12. Afterwards, everyone will receive a survey to tell the volunteers how we did for you.
“It was very helpful, clear, and straight to the point."
“It was a healing thing…that has been a positive step for the family.”
"Randy and his team have settled every adoption-related case I have asked them to mediate. Several of these matters were highly contested with the parties far apart going in to mediation, but even these cases resolved...”
“Mediation helped us communicate our wants and needs of each other. Also, I really appreciate the mediators explaining things better for the father to understand where it is I am coming from so he may understand.”
“Mediator Drew is the person to go to if you have a seemingly unsolvable high conflict case that needs to be resolved. Drew has been able to guide my clients to reach an acceptable resolution to their cases. After 30 years in practice, I have learned successful techniques to use that I had not used previously in my practice. Drew's non-judgmental acceptance of the client's position, his extensive education and many years of experience make him an ideal person to contact for that seemingly unsolvable case.”
(My favorite) "This has undone years of conflict."
“As an attorney for 43 years, I have worked with many mediators in attempts to settle highly complex, highly contentious cases…I have been involved in at least 20 mediations with L. Randy Drew. He has found ways to help the parties reach a fair settlement in every case.
Mediator Drew has the perfect intellect and personality to be an effective mediator. He is intelligent, patient, and has perspective. He listens when he should listen and speaks when he should speak. He has saved hours and hours of time, effort, and expense for all concerned. I highly recommend Mediator Drew.”
“The persons doing the mediation were very nice and understanding. They were sure I understood everything that was being discussed.”
"This mediation service provides a sophisticated, equitable, meaningful agreement...it alleviates the stress and confusion, and makes for a much more peaceful coexistence. They are highly, highly recommended"
“The mediation was helpful because the mediators were peaceful and nonjudgmental. I like that the mediation is our agreement and the mediators kept us focused on task."
“Randy and his mediators have resolved my most difficult cases that I did not believe could be resolved without court intervention.”
“Thank you for the professionalism you…provided to our family.”
© 2018 Mediator L Randy Drew, Southern California Family Mediation