Our mediation definition page consists of several sections. Each part of the mediation definition follows.
Rule 31 Mediation Definition
Rule 31 Mediation is a legal process defined under Tennessee Law that allows for a trained and impartial mediator to assist parties, with or without attorneys, in the resolution of their dispute(s). Mediation is a voluntary cooperative process where the parties as well as the mediator may terminate the process at any time and for any reason. In some cases, mediation may be ordered by the court if it is believed that the parties can achieve a mutually successful agreement. Is such order is made then mediation is voluntary after the first session. Click here for exact Rule 31 details.
The average mediation session lasts approximately three hours. The number of sessions required to resolve a dispute varies with the number and complexity of the issues to be decided.
Role of the Mediator
The mediator serves as a guide and helps the parties to communicate effectively, gather and analyze information, define issues, generate alternatives, explore consequences, and reach agreements acceptable to both parties. Mediators do not make decisions or create agreements for the parties; the parties are responsible for the terms of their own agreement. The neutral may provide legal information but not legal advice.
Role of the Party
Each party shall provide full and complete disclosure of all relevant and material property and financial matters necessary to reach an agreement.
The parties agree that dishonesty may invalidate any agreement that is made.
Each party has the responsibility to behave in a cordial and respectful manner while being an active participant to communicate effectively, define issues, generate alternatives, explore consequences, and reach agreement acceptable to all parties.
The parties have the opportunity to have counsel present during the mediation or to consult with the independent legal counsel at any time during the mediation.
Each party should have any draft agreement reviewed by independent counsel prior to signing the agreement or may waive his or her opportunity to do so.
The parties may not allow their attorney to hi-jack or preempt their responsibility to drive the process.
Role of the Attorney
The attorney has the responsibility to provide their client legal advice when appropriate or upon their client’s request. The lawyer has the responsibility to channel all other comments through their client so that the client can control the outcome of mediation. Litigator has the responsibility to understand and respect that the mediation process is about the parties and allow them the freedom to achieve an acceptable agreement free of any professional bias associated with their desires.
All communications made during or in connection with the mediation that are related to the dispute, and all materials in the case file of the mediator, shall be and remain confidential, as provided by statute. Any notes taken during the mediation must be destroyed if the mediation is complete or kept with the mediator if the mediation is continued to another session.