What happens after mediation ends?
UPDATED: February 20, 2013
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident law decisions. Finding trusted and reliable legal advice should be easy. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
After mediation, life goes on and the threat of litigation no longer exists. The mediation agreement that comes from the mediation process provides certainty about the outcome of your dispute and helps you to eliminate any ongoing legal bills to handle the dispute.
Mediation Agreement Contracts
Immediately following mediation, you and the other party will be asked to sign an official contract detailing the terms of the mediation agreement. If this is a court ordered mediation, the contract will be drafted by the mediator and filed with the court after you both have signed. If this is an out of court mediation, then either the mediator or your attorneys can draft the agreement. Both you and the opposing party will be given copies of the signed agreement and reminded of the fact that the agreement is binding.
After mediation has facilitated an agreement between yourself and another party, it's your responsibility to uphold your end of the contract. You will be required to pay any amount owed and complete any actions that were agreed to in the contract in order to make the situation right.
Mediation and Buyer’s Remorse
It's not uncommon for you or the other party to feel they could have or should have gotten a better deal out of the mediation. This is sometimes called "buyer’s remorse." However, mediation is highly likely to produce the best deal that was available at the time for both sides, and most likely, you could not have gotten a better deal out of your mediation.
Being a Reference for Your Mediator
Some mediators may ask you to be a reference for future clients. If you felt the mediation session went smoothly and you liked the personality of your mediator, this could be a great way to thank them for their services. In most cases, you may be contacted from time to time by a client seeking the services of the mediator you used and asked some questions about your experience.
Mediation and Privacy
Aside from recommending your mediator to others and the parties who were involved in the mediation process, no one else will ever know what went on in the mediation. Unlike a trial where every word is public record, mediation sessions are completely confidential. In fact, court appointed mediators are instructed to destroy everything but the mediation contract at the end of the mediation session. This includes any notes they made during the session. Copies of the mediation agreement contract can be filed away by both parties and ideally never looked at again as the dispute is resolved.