Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is a negotiation process where parties in a dispute are assisted by a neutral third party — a mediator — to reach a solution to their problem. Importantly, the parties themselves decide the outcome during mediation — not the mediator. The mediator's job is merely to facilitate a conversation and a decision-making process.



How Does Mediation Work?

Most disputes arise and continue because of poor communication. Mediation brings disputing parties together in a safe and confidential setting and helps them communicate better. Each participant gets an opportunity to tell his side of the story and also to hear what others have to say. As this occurs, the parties often learn some new perspectives. This helps them make better decisions as they work toward a mutually-beneficial solution.



What Does The Process Look Like?

For those who are not attorneys or otherwise familiar, we will work with you to schedule mediation at a convenient time for all concerned. Our service is not limited to Cody. If you are involved in a dispute elsewhere and would like assistance, we are willing to travel and make arrangements. For local mediations, we offer our office as the setting (please see photos in Our Home section).

Prior to mediation, we ask parties to submit information which we use to learn about the case and prepare. We then work with the parties to design the mediation format. There isn’t a single, set format. In most cases, all participants and the mediator meet together at the beginning. We discuss the process, ask questions, and allow each participant to offer comments if they wish. Then we take the parties to separate rooms for private meetings with the mediator where information is kept confidential. Offers and counteroffers arise out of these meetings as the parties work to resolve their dispute. Once an agreement is reached, each participant signs, acknowledging agreement to its terms.
 



What are the benefits of mediation?

The biggest benefit to mediation is the avoidance of a long, drawn-out legal battle. Inherent in this is not only a savings in terms of time and emotional pain, but a huge savings in cost. Clearly, this is especially true when the parties elect to hire a mediator prior to hiring lawyers and beginning litigation — hiring one mediator is much less expensive than hiring two (or more) attorneys to fight a lengthy battle.



What kinds of cases lend themselves to mediation?

We can mediate cases in all areas of the law. From domestic issues, like divorce and child custody cases, to complex commercial or personal injury cases, we have seen it all. We also have experience in mediating employment disputes, personnel problems and other corporate issues.



What does mediation cost?

Each party to a mediation pays a non-refundable administrative fee, which currently is $100. Beyond the administrative fee, all fees and out-of-pocket costs for services provided are split evenly between the parties to the mediation. Yellowstone Mediation currently charges $275 per hour for mediation services. This includes time spent by the mediator working before, during or after the scheduled mediation session. We always attempt to avoid charges for travel time by combining mediation travel with travel in other cases. When travel time is charged, it is billed at $150 per hour.



How do I go about setting up a mediation?

Just call our office. Alex will help find a date that works for all parties involved. While our mediation practice is very busy, we do our best to schedule mediations so the dispute can be solved as quickly as possible. Usually that means your mediation happens within a couple of weeks.



What should I expect during our mediation?

Brad generally meets with everyone in the same room at the beginning of the day. (He skips this step if anyone is made uncomfortable by the idea.) He then settles the parties in separate rooms and goes back and forth between them, asking questions, exchanging offers and generally facilitating an agreement that works for everyone involved. A bit of downtime is to be expected during the mediation process — parties should feel free to bring reading material or other means of staying occupied during those times when Brad is with the other party.



Are mediations confidential?

Yes, mediations are confidential. No information is divulged to the other party unless Brad has permission to do so. At the end of mediation, a file is not maintained in our office. All confidential material is shredded.



Do You Travel To Other Cities?

Yes, we provide mediation services throughout Wyoming and surrounding states.