Mediation is a voluntary and informal settlement process where a neutral third party (mediator) helps disputing parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement. The mediation process identifies important issues, clarifies misunderstandings, explores solutions, and negotiates a settlement that is mutually acceptable to the parties.
Mediation is generally held at an attorney's office, but can also be held at a neutral location agreeable to the parties. Unlike public venues such as litigation, mediation is private.
Most civil actions (not involving criminal activity or safety/welfare concerns of a child) can be, and are encouraged to be mediated. Mediation is informal, less costly, and less stressful than litigation, and typical resolves cases within hours instead of weeks or years in court. Mediation can typically be scheduled within a matter of weeks so the parties don't have to wait for a court/trial date. Mediation can also allow the parties to completely resolve their dispute, and forego other hearings involved in litigation.
The mediator is a neutral and impartial professional whose primary job is to facilitate the mediation process. The mediator also assists the parties in navigating the issues in dispute, while seeking a mutually acceptable agreement along the way. Equally important to the mediator's role is what the mediator doesn't do. The mediator will never give the parties advice, never tell them what to do, never make them accept an agreement, or require them to stay at mediation any longer than is productive.
As with any legal function or activity, I strongly recommend that parties to a lawsuit seek independent legal advice before making or entering into any binding agreement, especially in more complex cases.
Depending on the type of lawsuit or case, and the complexity of the issues, mediation can be completed within one day in most cases. However, because some mediated agreements can contain very specific terms, mediation can span two or more days in some cases.
The cost for mediation can include the mediator's fee for preparation and in-session time, a fee for the mediation venue, as well as travel and lodging expenses incurred by the mediator, if any. Mediator's fees typically range from $200/hr. and higher with a minimum number of hours required.
Clay Phillips is a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 Listed General Civil and Family Mediator, Specially Trained in Domestic Violence. He has been mediating since 2007 and has mediated more than 400 pre- and post-filing disputes and lawsuits in Tennessee Courts.
Clay has experience mediating the following types of lawsuits and disputes:
Since 2008 he has trained more than 1,200 mediators for Rule 31 Listing. He earned a PhD in Organizational Leadership from Northcentral University, and a BS and MBA from Liberty University.
Clay Is an Honorably Discharged Veteran of the United States Navy. He spent six years (1984-1990) on active duty as an analyst/operator assigned to the Cryptologic Direct Support Element of the Naval Security Group.
Fees for Mediation are set by agreement.
For most mediations, my rate is $225 per hour, divided among the parties (in injury cases the injured party and their spouse count as one party).
There is no charge for travel time to the following Tennessee Counties: Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Sumner, Robertson, Cheatham, or Dickson.
A two hour cancellation fee will be charged for mediations cancelled less than 10 days before the date of the scheduled conference.
Expenses such as conference room rental and courier (FedEx, UPS, etc.) charges are billed at actual cost.
555 Marriott Drive, Nashville, Tennessee 37214, United States