Mediation is a process where the different sides in a dispute sit down--hopefully around the same table--with the help of a trained mediator and try to work out a solution to the dispute. Sometimes this takes quite a while. Sometimes we work out temporary solutions and try them for a while. Sometimes this doesn't work....but for the greatest number of cases where the parties attempt mediation, they are able to work out a compromise.
When the Tennessee Supreme Court adopted Rule 31 and mandated mediation in most divorces (and now other domestic cases as well) I was skeptical. I thought mediation would turn out to be a waste of time. I was WRONG. Most cases, especially domestic cases, can be settled if the parties can just sit down and talk about their situation. The parties know what has really happened and what they really have and have not done or said.
In fall of 2014 I "went to school" and did the training to be "listed" as a Rule 31 Mediator, per the Tennessee Supreme Court Rules. Listing under Rule 31, and thus being an official mediator, requires 46 hours of training. Yes, really 46 real hours. The training is intense and exhausting but extremely useful. I have done probably hundreds of mediation sessions as an attorney for parties in cases but now I am qualified--and even eager--to help folks sort out their cases by helping to settle cases in mediation.