FAQ's - The Other Disputant

What if the other person/s doesn’t want to go to mediation?

It is fairly common for people to be nervous about mediation or to lack an understanding of how it works. The mediator will work with the contacting party to evaluate whether mediation is appropriate. All individuals must then contact the mediator separately in order to begin the mediation process. It is often necessary to educate everyone regarding how mediation differs from counseling and/or the legal system. The mediator will assist with this upon being contacted.  See our page on Preparing for Mediation for additional information.

The person with whom I am disputing contacted you first. Since they told you their story first, does that mean you'll take their side?

No. Mediators do not take sides regardless of who contacted the mediator first or who shared their story with the mediator first. Before actual mediation begins, the mediator makes sure to speak with everyone separately on the telephone to find out some basic information about the conflict and to answer any questions or concerns anyone may have. The mediator will also meet with each of you individually before scheduling an actual mediation session.  See FAQ's on the Mediation process for more information or Preparing for Mediation for additional information on this general topic.

Why can't you contact the person I'm in conflict with and tell them to come to mediation?

Noah Mediation Services' policy is that all parties in the dispute have to contact our services directly.  There are a few reasons for this.  If you contact Noah Mediation Services first and then we call the person with whom you are in conflict, it may feel to them like we are taking your side, that we are pressuring them to choose mediation as a process, or that we are pressuring them to use our particular services.  The beauty of mediation and the reason why it works so well is that it's voluntary (even when it's mandated by a judge, choosing an NMS mediator is still voluntary), and the mediator does not take sides.  It's important that no matter who initiates mediation or who contacts us first, everyone in mediation experiences the process as fair and balanced.  Therefore, just as you contacted us to inquire as to our services and/or to tell us your story, we maintain the integrity of the process by sustaining that same opportunity for those with whom you are in conflict by requiring that they contact us directly.

Noah Mediation Services
(708) 434-0615