Process of Mediation

Process of Mediation

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Published by TOP4 Team

Mediation is a casual and flexible dispute resolution process. The mediator's role is to guide the parties toward their own resolution. During the joint sessions and separate caucuses with parties, the mediator assists both sides to define the issues clearly, understand each other's position and move closer to resolution.




Most often, mediations start with a joint session used to set the ground rules and an agenda. The joint session can also help to define the issues and determines the parties' positions.


Generally, during the process, parties move to separate caucuses. The mediator will transfer messages, offers, counter offers, questions, demands, and proposals between both sides to help the parties move closer to resolution.


The mediator has no authority to decide the settlement or even compel the parties to settle. Mediation is non-binding until parties agree on a resolution. If the matter does not settle, the claimant has preserved the right to pursue arbitration.


A typical mediation progresses through the following stages:



  • Initiate a Mediation

    The parties can file a Request for Mediation to start the process, or, if the matter is already in arbitration with FINRA, they may contact their arbitration administrator for a referral to mediation.





  • Mediator Selection

    Once the parties begin the mediation process, they learn how to select a mediator.





  • Mediation Sessions

    The parties will learn what takes place at a mediation session.





  • Settlement

    A settlement occurs if the parties resolve their dispute.





  • Impasse

    Impasse happens if the parties do not settle their dispute.




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