Dispute Resolution Consultation
Either party can call our office at (805) 585-3828
Scheduled at your convenience, our mediators help Santa Barbara County residents resolve a wide range of disputes, including: family, landlord/tenant, roommates, neighborhood, business, consumer/merchant, homeowner association, real estate, construction, and more.
“Community mediation assists and empowers individuals and organizations to engage, transform, and resolve conflicts through the use of collaborative, constructive processes. Community mediation helps you get heard, get healed, and get back to your life!”
An effective way to clarify the needs of both parents and teens. In two sessions, mediators meet with parent and teen to: identify issues needing attention and agreement; communicate clearly each person’s needs and issues; and resolve any misunderstandings or disputes that are causing tension and lack of harmony within the family.
Small Claims Court Mediation
Mediation services available to all Small Claims court parties, either on-site in the courthouse on the day of trial, or in our offices prior to the court date.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a facilitated, constructive negotiation process for resolving differences and conflicts between individuals, groups, and organizations. It is an alternative to avoidance, destructive confrontation, prolonged litigation or violence. It gives people in conflict an opportunity to take responsibility for the resolution of their dispute and control of the outcome. Community mediation is designed to meet individual interests while strengthening relationships and building connections between people and groups, and to create processes that make communities work for all of us.
Mediation is a process of dispute resolution in which one or more impartial third parties intervenes in a conflict with the consent of the disputants and assists them in negotiating a consensual and informed agreement. In mediation, the decision-making authority rests with the parties themselves. Recognizing variations in styles and cultural differences, the role of the mediator(s) involves assisting the disputants in defining and clarifying issues, reducing obstacles to communication, exploring possible solutions, and reaching a mutually satisfactory agreement. Mediation presents the opportunity to constructively express differences and to "hear each other out" even when an agreement is not reached.
Benefits of Mediation
You are encouraged to work together to solve problems and reach the best solution.
You choose to participate in this solution-focused process.
You have complete decision-making power and a veto over each and every provision of any mediated agreement. Nothing can be imposed on you.
Mediation is confidential. The mediator cannot testify for or against you. What is said in mediation cannot be used later in court or arbitration. The only exception to that rule is a signed, final agreement.
The average mediation costs about $100 per person and can result in a signed written contract between the parties at the table.
Private and Personal
Mediation takes place in a comfortable, private environment rather than an open courtroom, and the parties decide who needs to be involved. The time, place, and duration of the sessions are determined by you, the other party, and the mediator.
Self-Responsible and Satisfying
In mediation you are actively involved in resolving your own conflict and developing a resolution that fits the particular circumstances of your life. Research has shown that these elements dramatically increase the likelihood that both parties will be satisfied with the result, finding it easier to comply with the terms of the agreement.
The Mediator's Role...
...is to ensure that parties reach agreements in a voluntarily and informed manner, and not as a result of coercion or intimidation.
Impartial and Neutral - The mediator will assist you and the other party equally without favoring one side or the other. The mediator has no interest in making you settle your dispute.
They are unbiased about what you and the other party put in your agreement. The mediator will not decide who is right, give legal advice, or recommend solutions.
If because of the individuals or issues involved, a mediator cannot maintain neutrality, they will withdraw.
One option for people in conflict is to go to court. The legal system can resolve their dispute, but the emotional and financial costs can be devastating.
Many disputes have a prior history of an amicable relationship. This is especially true in business disputes. Litigation (arbitration or court) will likely kill any prospect of continued relations. If you are already in litigation you may have experienced the impact of the adversarial proceeding, financially and emotionally. Even in neighbor, co-worker, or family dispute cases you probably did not dislike each other before the incident occurred.
Mediation offers an alternative.
- ·If you want to resolve a conflict calmly, quickly, affordably, fairly, and constructively
- ·If you want to resolve a conflict privately, without lots of people watching in a courtroom
- ·if you want to resolve a conflict and move on in your life, rather than letting it fester and linger in your thoughts
- ·If you want to use an informal process to resolve a conflict, rather than getting involved in a complex legal process
- ·If you want to have control of the outcome of the conflict resolution process (unlike a lawsuit or arbitration where the third party decides for you)
- ·If you want to be creative in finding a better solution, rather than be constrained by the limited legal options of litigation or arbitration
- ·If you want to repair or strengthen a relationship with the other party
- ·If you want to feel good about trying to negotiate the issues yourself, rather than gambling that someone else can do it for you
- ·If you want to find a realistic, workable solution to your problem based on your needs