A: Most civil (noncriminal) disputes can be successfully mediated and is especially beneficial for disputes involving contracts, leases, small business ownership, employment, and divorce. Mediation can be particularly useful in these areas because it is designed to identify and cope with divisive interpersonal issues not originally thought to be part of the dispute.
For example, if one neighbor sues another for making outrageous amounts of noise, the court will usually deal with only that issue. If the court declares one neighbor a winner and the other a loser, it may worsen long-term tensions. In mediation, however, each neighbor will be invited to present all issues in dispute. It may turn out that the overly loud neighbor was being obnoxious in part because his neighbor's dog constantly pooped on his lawn or his neighbor's pickup blocked a shared driveway.
Because mediation is designed to look at and fix the bigger picture, it's a far better way to restore long-term peace to the neighborhood, home, or workplace than going to court.
(b) ...each circuit and appellate court of this state is vested with the authority to order any civil, juvenile, probate, or domestic relations case or controversy pending before it to mediation.
(c) If a case or controversy is ordered to mediation, the parties may:
(1) Choose an appropriate mediator from a roster provided by the Arkansas Alternative Dispute
Resolution Commission of those mediators who meet the commission's requirement guidelines
for that type of case; or
(2) Select a mediator not on the commission's roster, if approved by the court.
A: In mediation, you and the opposing parties will work out a solution to your own dispute. Unless you freely agree, there will be no final resolution. This approach has several advantages over going to court:
A: Mediation is not required by statute; but judges have the discretion to force parties in any suit to seek mediation under:
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