If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
PIT has Christian attorneys and support staff who will travel to churches who need a conflict resolved by competent professionals. PIT does not charge a fee for this service. We are passionate about helping bring peace to the body of Christ. PIT does ask to be permitted to take an offering after the mediation is complete.
One of the advantages of mediation over the traditional litigation model is that the parties have the opportunity for improved communication and understanding.
The parties have the opportunity to present a short statement clarifying the presenting issues and positions. This gives the parties an opportunity to tell their story in their own words. Litigation clutters, distracts and fragments the natural communication process necessary for people to be heard and come to an understanding. Mediation gives the parties the chance to hear and be heard. Each party can take a few minutes to share their side of the story in a non-litigious method that is not limited to legal causes of actions and monetary damages. Hearing is the first step to healing.
Defining the Issues
One of the central reasons mediation is so effective is that the mediator will assist the parties in identifying the driving issues of the conflict. Following the opening statements, the mediator will help the parties in clarifying the key issues to be resolved and then setting up the agenda for the mediation session.
A caucus is a private session with the mediator that helps the parties focus on the real issues and consider all perspectives. Each party gets equal time with the mediator to explore the options of resolution and move the negotiation process forward in a productive, argument free reality check.
Mediation provides a process that maximizes negotiation. All outcomes in the mediation process are voluntary. The mediator facilitates the negotiation process through a collaborative approach to reaching a settlement. The mediator will facilitate the communication process and creative negotiation strategy.
An Agreement in Writing
Mediated agreements include the essential terms of the negotiated settlement using clear and simple language of the parties. All agreements are voluntary and are drafted in the parties’ own words.
Mediation Confidentiality Agreement
The goal of the mediation is to reach a comprehensive resolution of all aspects of the dispute.
PIT does not charge a fee for the mediation service but does ask that we be permitted to take an offering after the mediation is complete.
Each party at the mediation must have full settlement authority and participate in good faith negotiations. If applicable, claims personnel or others holding settlement authority must either attend the mediation or be available for immediate telephone contact.
The parties hereto agree as follows:
The mediation will be conducted pursuant to the confidentiality provisions of the California Evidence Code. The mediation process is to be considered settlement negotiation for the purpose of all state rules protecting disclosures made during such mediation conference from latter discovery or use in evidence. This applies to anything said, done or occurring in the course of the mediation, including any private discussion between the mediator and any party or counsel before or after the joint mediation session.
Further, in order to promote communication among the parties and the mediator and to facilitate settlement of the dispute, all parties agree that the mediator has no liability for any act or omission in connection with the mediation, and that they have received and agree to this confidentiality portion of the mediation procedures provided, all parties understand and intend that the mediator is fully protected by quasi-judicial immunity such that no claims can be asserted by any party against the mediator, arising out of or related to his service as a mediator.
The parties further agree as follows:
The mediator is a neutral intermediary who may not act as an advocate for any party. The mediator further agrees not to divulge substantive information to non-participants in this process.
All statements made during the course of the mediation are privileged settlement discussions, are made without prejudice to any party’s legal position, and are non-discoverable and inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.
The privileged character of any information is not altered by disclosure to the mediator. Disclosure of any records, reports, or all other documents received by or prepared by the mediator cannot be compelled. The mediator shall not be compelled to disclose or to testify in any proceedings as to (i) any records, reports or other documents received by or prepared by the mediator or (ii) information disclosed or representations made in the course of the mediation or otherwise communicated to the mediator in confidence.
No aspect of the mediation shall be relied upon or introduced as evidence in any arbitral, judicial or other proceeding, included, but not limited to (i) views expressed or suggestions made by a party with respect to a possible settlement of the dispute; (ii) admissions made in the course of the mediation proceedings; and (iii) proposals made or views expressed by the mediator or the response of any party.
The parties further agree, however, that this agreement does not apply to any executed settlement agreement, and such settlement agreement may be introduced into evidence in any subsequent proceedings to enforce the terms of the settlement agreement.
Any party breaching this agreement shall be liable for, and shall indemnify the non-breaching parties and the mediator for all costs, expenses, liabilities and fees, which may be incurred a result of such breach.
If conducted in the State of California, California Evidence Code sections 1115 through 1128 (as amended effective January 1, 1998) shall apply to this mediation.
Is a Mediated Settlement Enforceable?
Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process. If the parties reach a settlement at the mediation, is that agreement enforceable?
Simply put, a settlement agreement is a contract and if that contract is broken, either party has the right to bring the matter to court for resolution. Although the mediation process is confidential, the parties may agree that the agreement can be introduced as evidence and enforced by a court of law.
The California Evidence Code provides confidentiality within the mediation process but under section 1123, a written agreement can be admissible in court if the parties have agreed to its admissibility or disclosure. It is helpful for the parties to the mediation to specifically state in the agreement that the settlement is enforceable.
California Evidence Code Section 1123
Written settlements reached through mediation
A written settlement agreement prepared in the course of, or pursuant to, a mediation, is not made inadmissible, or protected from disclosure, by provisions of this chapter if the agreement is signed by the settling parties and any of the following conditions are satisfied:
(a) The agreement provides that it is admissible or subject to disclosure, or words to that effect.
(b) The agreement provides that it is enforceable or binding or words to that effect.
(c) All parties to the agreement expressly agree in writing, or orally in accordance with Section 1118, to its disclosure.
(d) The agreement is used to sow fraud, duress, or illegality that is relevant to an issue in dispute
The words and discussions of the mediation are always protected as confidential and cannot be disclosed. It is recommended that the parties specifically agree that the settlement is admissible as evidence and enforceable by a court of law. If the parties do not agree, it is still possible for a judge to accept the agreement into evidence. However, when the parties specifically state in writing that a court can accept the agreement into evidence, there is no question that the parties can seek to enforce the contract as written.
Providing mediated solutions. Helping people reach real resolution.
Mediation is a voluntary process of settling your dispute through the help of a professionally trained neutral mediator. Mediation services can be provided to people involved in litigated and non-litigated disputes. Litigation rarely provides the results people seek. The process is expensive, lengthy, public and unpredictable.
Mediation however provides an efficient and effective way to secure settlement. It is the fast, affordable, and confidential option that lets you maintain control of the process and the outcome.
Experienced mediators help people settle their disputes quickly, affordably, and confidentially. With the help of one of our trained mediators or co-mediator teams, you will see improved communication, new options for resolution a faster and more efficient process as we facilitate a negotiated settlement. Mediation puts you back in control of your case.
Your settlement. Your way.
You control the process. You control the outcome.
Conflict Resolved –
Litigation is expensive and time consuming but mediation is resolution focused. Conflict needs to be managed well in order to be productive. Don’t handle your dispute alone. A skilled mediator will facilitate balanced communication and move the parties forward toward settlement. You need an impartial third party facilitator who will be neutral but also intentional to drive the negotiations forward toward resolution. Being neutral means the mediator will not take sides against any party in the mediation. The mediator’s goal is focused on securing an acceptable settlement not prolonging litigation.
Acceptable Outcome –
Don’t leave the outcome of your dispute to someone else. Proceeding with litigation gives someone else control over the outcome to your dispute. Don’t let the outcome be decided by a judge or a jury. Take back control of the outcome. Mediation helps people come to an acceptable agreement that they can live with. A mediated settlement means you will never be forced with a decision you don’t agree with. Don’t let someone else decide your dispute.
Confidential Process –
If keeping the details of your dispute private is important, mediation is the preferred process. Many disputes require confidentiality. Litigation can be a messy and public process but mediation keeps information private. All parties sign a confidentiality agreement to make sure that the information discussed in the mediation session remains private and you are protected.
Control the Costs and Time of Litigation –
Conflict is costly. Litigation is expensive. Millions of dollars are spent every year on attorneys’ fees and litigation costs. Lengthy delays often keep litigated cases going much longer than initially expected. The current court system is overburdened and expensive. Mediation is much faster and far less expensive than litigation. Get your case resolved now for much less time and money. Most disputes can be resolved in one session.
Any conflict can be brought to mediation, as long as both parties agree. If you have a conflict you think would be right for mediation, please contact Pastors In Transition to speak with one of our helpful staff. We can answer any questions you may have and begin the process today. If your case is right for mediation, we will contact the other party to reach an agreement to mediate. When both parties agree, we will promptly schedule a mediation session. The goal is to reach an agreement that is agreeable to everyone.