Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process that involves the parties and a neutral facilitator. The mediator may be contacted by the parties directly before filing any action, and if resolution is reached, the mediator drafts an agreement reflecting their decisions and instructs each party to seek an independent attorney to review the agreement before signing it.
When mediating for unrepresented parties Iris meets with them for two-hour sessions emphasizing her role as a neutral facilitator assisting them to resolve their issues, but not giving either party legal advice.
The mediator is more often contacted by the attorneys once the case is filed and is progressing to trial. Mediation is required before the parties may bring the case to trial; therefore, the case is brought to mediation to attempt to resolve all of it, or even resolve some of the issues, so as to avoid or substantially reduce the time needed to prepare for or attend trial.
By the time these contested cases get to the mediator, the parties are often quite angry, upset and/or disheartened. They have often spent considerable sums getting to this point, and mediation is the last stop before the trial.
In this setting Ms. Bass utilizes her expertise, honed over years as a certified family mediator, and with the assistance of the parties’ attorneys to enable the parties to resolve their issues and avoid the time, cost and emotional trauma of a trial.