If you are involved in a lawsuit, conflict, or dispute, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) may be right for you. ADR refers to a variety of out-of-court processes that resolve conflict peacefully and promote creative solutions. Mediation is one of the more popular forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). If you have a case you think may be appropriate for mediation, you are encouraged to seek the services of a registered Neutral [Mediator]. Tommy Lee Maddox is a State registered Neutral and can assist with the resolution of your dispute.

Mediation is effective. In mediation, the Neutral, a person called also called a “mediator”, helps people in a dispute to communicate with one another, to understand each other, and if possible, to reach agreements that satisfy everyone’s needs. The mediator does not take sides or decide who was right or wrong in the past. The mediator helps people focus on the future and make their own decisions. Mediation often improves communication, saves people time and money, and leads to longer-lasting agreements.

Mediation can be especially effective in family, neighbor, and business conflicts or where the individuals involved want to preserve their relationship such as in employment situtations. Mediation may not be appropriate or safe in cases involving a history or fear of domestic violence.

Mediation is confidential. Confidentiality is a core value of the mediation process. It is confidential both by law and by agreement. However, if parties reach a settlement agreement, the written and executed agreement or memorandum of agreement is not subject to confidentiality, unless all parties to the proceeding agree so in writing. Confidentiality does not include:

-Mediators and program staff reporting whether or not the parties appear for mediation;
-Threats of pending violence to self or to others; or
-If the mediator believes that a child is abused or that the safety of any party or third party is in danger.

Mediation may not be appropriate for all cases. Since the successful use of mediation depends on both parties being able to make decisions on their own, mediation may also not be appropriate when:

-There is a lack of knowledge or resources to gain information by one party creating a significant imbalance of power;
-A party’s physical or mental condition prohibits that party from protecting his or her own interests or in carefully considering his or her options; or
-There is ongoing domestic abuse or previous interactions between the parties resulting in one party controlling or abusing the other party to such an extent that the less dominant party cannot exercise independent judgment.

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