What’s the difference between a lawyer and a mediator?

Although we are lawyers, we do not serve as lawyers in the mediation process. Our role in mediation is to assist parties in resolving their disagreements. In that role, we are not allowed to advise any party about what they should do in their case or whether they should agree to any proposed offer.

Is mediation confidential?

Mediation sessions are generally confidential and things that are discussed in mediation may not be disclosed to the court or to any other person, regardless of whether the parties are able to settle their disagreements at mediation. A mediator may not be called to testify in court to any matter relating to the mediation that has occurred.

In addition, parties may identify to the mediator any items that they do not want to be disclosed to the other parties. This can occur through the submission of confidential written statements prior to mediation, during the intake session, or in caucus sessions during mediation. A mediator may only reveal those things if the party later agrees to disclose those matters.

There are some exceptions. The Mediator is required by law to report any suspected child abuse or neglect. The Mediator also has an ethical duty to warn or take appropriate action to protect a party or others if a party expresses the intent to harm themself or others, or expresses an intent to commit a crime.

What Must I Agree to in Mediation?

Every party to mediation in a case involving children is required by the Indiana Alternative Dispute Resolution rules to fully consider the best interests of the children and consider any impact that their agreements may have upon the children.

Everything else is open to discussion and negotiation, but the best interests of children are always non-negotiable.

Available Mediation Forms: