Mediation is the process used to settle a case before trial. In Vanderburgh County, if the case is scheduled for a full day of trial or more, the court will order mediation.
When parties engage in mediation, they typically go to the office of a 3rd attorney who acts as a mediator. While at their office, each side discusses the case with the mediator in private. The mediator then tries to encourage the parties to settle the case. Typically, the mediator will meet several times with each party throughout the settlement process.
Anything stated at mediation is confidential and cannot be repeated in court. This process encourages people to make settlement offers since they know it cannot be held against them when they go to court if the matter does not settle. Consequently, the mediator cannot be subpoenaed to appear in court to testify as to what either party said during mediation.
Generally, a mediator is paid by the hour, and typically each party contributes one half of the expense. If one party has a significantly higher income, that party may potentially pay the full expense. Typically, the mediator expects approximately $750 from each party at the beginning of the mediation. He or she bills their time against that retainer; The mediator’s hourly rate ranges around $250 per hour. Usually, mediations last between half a day to a full day, however, they can be much shorter or longer depending on the complexity of the case matter before the court.
The Law Offices of Steven K. Deig, LLC have experience in the mediation process, and also offer mediation services to the general public.