The Mediation Process Overview

The Mediation Process Overview

This information is a general outline of the process the mediation session will take. Since the agreement is reached by the participating parties, a mediation session may take from three to four hours. In more detailed cases the session may take days.  

The Mediators

 Are neutral third parties that facilitate negotiation and settlement between disputing parties by providing direction and encouragement, working collaboratively with them to find creative ways to reach a mutually satisfying solution. 

Mediators do not represent or advocate for either side in the mediation or a lawsuit. Our role is to try to bring both parties to a common middle ground. Mediators do not offer advice in any capacity, legal or otherwise to any party in mediation proceedings.  

When a solution is achieved, the mediator may prepare a mutually agreed upon Mediation Settlement Agreement (MSA) that all parties sign. The MSA agreement may then be given to an attorney as part of a lawsuit or filed with the court if desired. Filing an agreement is not mandatory but a choice the parties can make.  

The Client 

Completes an intake questionnaire. This will help determine the depth and scope of the mediation service being requested. A meeting will be scheduled to discuss any additional details about the negotiation, special needs, convenient neutral meeting place to facilitate the negotiations, the mediation process and payment of the mediation fee.  

All parties in negotiation must have absolute authority to enter into the mediated agreement and make all decisions regarding the settlement. 

The MSA is a legal and binding contract between all negotiating parties. Each party must sign an Agreement to Mediate and a Confidentiality Agreement prior to the start of mediation.

The Process 

• Introductions – Are both of you okay with Michael Sweet being a neutral third party?  

• House cleaning – Respect, commitment to resolve, listening etc, no phones, etc. 

• Commodities – Rest room, Water, breaks.  

• Opening Statements – Reason for being here. Tell your side of the story.


• Identify items to be negotiated (all or one at a time) 

• Work on resolutions of each item (caucus only if necessary) 

Create Mediated Settlement Agreement (MSA)

• All parties sign completed MSA and receives an original copy


Please download these documents and complete them. This will greatly reduce the amount of time spent in mediation and allow the time spent in mediation to be more focused on a resolution rather than filling out forms.  

Download, complete and sign, then scan to your PC and email to  

OR you can fax the completed form to 509-278-0345  

Please do not hesitate to email me at if you have any questions or concerns