Mediation Matters has developed and pioneered the use of
Accelerated: “to cause to occur sooner than expected.”
What is Accelerated Mediation?
All mediation is a process of helping people to reach their own agreements. Accelerated Mediation is an intensive process designed to bring parties to mutually agreeable results in a concentrated time period, typically in two days. We normally meet with clients weekly or biweekly in two-hour sessions. In contrast, participants in Accelerated Mediation choose to work for longer, intensive time periods.
How Does Accelerated Mediation Work?
Advance preparation is an important part of the process. We assist the parties in identifying and gathering the information that may be needed to inform their decisions during the mediation process. In addition, legal counsel may, at the discretion of the parties, participate in the mediation.
The mediators meet with the parties both individually and together. Attention is focused on identifying the needs and interests of each party, developing options for mutual gain and identifying objective criteria for completing the agreement. Parties may confer with their attorneys during the process to clarify and resolve any issues that may arise during the mediation. If the parties reach agreement, a draft document is prepared which the attorneys finalize.
Why Does Accelerated Mediation Work?
We’ve found this kind of intense, problem-solving approach builds a mutual desire to reach settlement and prevents people from becoming entrenched in untenable positions. Participants have expressed emotional relief and satisfaction in the agreements that they have reached.
How Successful is Accelerated Mediation?
Over the past ten years, over 90% of cases of accelerated mediation have resulted in a settlement. This process had its origins when an out-of-state attorney requested the director of Mediation Matters to mediate a high-asset case in a concentrated period of time. The case settled in just two days of meeting, and we have used that format ever since. Over the last decade at least 17 other attorneys in the area have participated in Accelerated Mediation. Due to the success of these cases, we began offering Accelerated Mediation in other states as well as in Maryland. In a recent divorce case, a couple who had been in court for five years, with almost $250,000 in prior legal fees, were able to settle in just three sessions!
Who Should Use Accelerated Mediation?
This intensive process has been particularly successful in both divorce mediation and business mediation. In either situation, it is appropriate if protracted negotiation will be untenable or more likely to result in impasse. If, for example, a family business is in trouble, there may be no time to waste in resolving critical issues. Or if a pending divorce needs immediate resolution, accelerated mediation can provide the vehicle to achieve a timely settlement.
Our team of mediators will be happy to work with you to answer any questions about Accelerated Mediation and see if it is appropriate in your situation.