FAQ I don’t I need a lawyer so why would I need a mediator? No, you do not need a lawyer. In fact, the legal system can often complicate the situation, adding time and cost. A lawyer is an advocate for their client and tends to control and determine the outcome. A mediator works to get the best situation for both parties while the control remains with the parties. I don’t want to see the other person Mediation gives you the opportunity to customize the experience based on your needs. For example, using caucus could allow you to complete the process without ever having to be in the same room as the other party. If you choose to use the courts your business will be public both during and after hearings meaning you may be in a court room with the other person and the public. Mediation is done privately, and results remain private. You will also have more control of the overall environment that you meet the other person in and when you can come and go. I was told that mediation is not legally binding Agreements reached in mediation are legally binding the moment they are signed. Additionally, statistics show that agreements made in mediation are complied with at 85% – 90% compared to a 50% compliance rate when using the court system. Court ordered agreements are legally binding but they are also non-negotiable which limits the amount of individual control and say you have in the outcome I can’t afford to use a mediator No matter what path you choose to resolve your dispute, there will be costs involved. Oakland Mediation Center rates are on average half the cost of a lawyer’s rates making it a much more cost-effective solution. You get what you pay for so if your rates are so low it must not be as good of a service. OMC receives external funding sources that help us offset our costs, allowing us to provide this service at a lower rate. How are you qualified to do this, do you have a law degree? OMC’s facilitative mediators are highly skilled professionals that have undergone a rigorous training and certification process, approved by the State Court Administrative Office. OMC mediators are required to complete 40 hours of training 34% of the OMC mediators are Attorneys or former judges After training, OMC mediators are required to complete 40 hours of supervised of live mediation (Attorneys and those with Master’s in Dispute Resolution are required to complete two Observations and one Supervised Mediation under the supervision of a qualified mediator. All OMC mediators are trained by a State Court Administrative Office approved Trainer Each year OMC trains 45-70 of Oakland Counties’ practicing lawyers and law students in mediation I don’t have time in my schedule for this I understand that time is almost always a concern. Using mediation allows you to have some flexibility in your scheduling as opposed to using the court where they will tell you when to be there and you have no choice If you have time to meet with your lawyer, why not meet with a mediator instead? I don’t want to be pressured in to making a decision Mediation is done in a no pressure, neutral environment where outcomes are decided mutually with the support of a trained professional They won’t agree and if they agree they won’t comply Our agreements are adhered to 85-90% of the time which is higher than court mandates which are complied with on average 50% of the time. I just want someone to tell me what I need to do Most times when someone decides what you should do, you lose control of the outcome. Mediators will guide you while leaving you with more control over what happens.