How Long Does It Take?

Many cases are resolved in three to four hours. Normally, mediation does not exceed one day. However, since each case is unique, artificial time limits are not imposed. The patient exploration of both rational and irrational arguments can lead to agreement between the parties and often give way to settlement.

How Does Mediation Work?

Mediation may be thought of as "assisted negotiation". It is most successful when all parties are truly interested in resolving their dispute. Parties must come to the mediation with their settlement positions well-analyzed, with sufficient bargaining authority to resolve the issues, and with an open mind.

GMS believes that all parties, including the mediator, should come to the mediation well-prepared. Prior to the mediation, the parties will be invited to submit position papers. This will allow your mediator to learn specific problem areas which may exist as a hindrance to settlement.

On the day of the mediation, the mediator will meet confidentially with the parties. There is a three-fold purpose to this meeting: (1) develop a sense of the conflict; (2) assess the settlement objectives; and (3) identify settlement problems that could thwart the successful resolution of the case. In this way, the mediator can help the parties put the case in the best settlement posture at the outset.

During the course of the mediation, the mediator will act as a facilitator by moving between the parties to narrow the issues and explore mutually acceptable options. Through his expertise and experience, our mediator will assist the parties to reach a resolution that is not only equitable, but satisfactory to all the parties involved.

How Much Does Mediation Cost?

Generally, GMS mediations are charged at the rate of $125 per hour, per party, beginning from the arranged appointment time. In workers’ compensation cases, the employer and insurer are usually considered to be one party. In personal injury cases, the insurer and the defendant are usually considered to be one party. Therefore, most mediations are conducted at a total cost of $250 per hour.

In addition, a one-time administrative fee is charged. This fee covers scheduling, billing, travel time to and from the mediation within the metro-Atlanta area, and the review of up to a five-page position paper from each party. The review of additional records prior to or following the mediation will be billed at the stated hourly rate.

Counties in the metro area that are served without additional travel expenses include: Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Lumpkin, Paulding, and Rockdale.

Where Are Mediations Held?

GMS mediators are flexible as to time and location of the mediation. We conduct mediations regularly throughout the state of Georgia. Although neutral premises are available in our offices, it is often more convenient for mediations to be held at the law firm representing either the plaintiff or the defendant.