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Disagreements are usually settled based on power or rights or interests. Disputants who don't have to deal with each other ever again, often settle disputes using power or rights. Disputants who deal with each other after settlement are more willing to settle disputes in a way that gives some satisfaction to all sides. Mediation is not based on power or rights. Agreements which are somewhat satisfactory to all involved are important for people who will have dealings with each other after settlement.
POWER -- The person with the most power or money gets to decide.
RIGHTS -- Someone, perhaps a judge, decides based on who has the rights or who is right.
INTERESTS -- Agreements based on each person's wants instead of bargaining over positions.
To make the most of the mediation process:
You are strongly encouraged to have your attorney advise you throughout the mediation process and review any agreement reached in mediation. Depending on the number of issues, agreement can generally be reached in 5 - 10 hours. The fewer the issues, the faster the process.