Mediation Law

Enactment of mediation laws in state and federal jurisdictions

Mediation law plays an important role in resolving the disputes between two or more parties and aims at reaching the agreement rather than proceeding to standard legal approach. While it may take years or months to resolve the case in the hands of a lawyer or in courts, dispute resolutions are now made easy through proper mediation. In United States the laws governing the mediation differ from one state to another and typically handle the disputes in various domains such as commercial or business communities, workplace and family related issues, legal and diplomatic matters etc.

Mediation process:

As United States comprises of many state and federal jurisdictions, the mediation process and enforcement of settlement agreements is not governed by a single law of entity. Many jurisdictions have enacted legislation to establish the rules for mediation law and several courts have framed their own decree for mediation proceedings. To promote the public confidence in mediation the American Bar Association has specified some model standards that serve as the fundamental ethical guidelines in the mediation process.

Enactment of Uniform Mediation Act:

  • To promote the use and uniformity of mediation in the United States the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) approved and recommended the enactment of Uniform mediation Act (UMA) in all states in August 2001.

  • Endorsed by American Bar Association, the basic rule of this mediation law of UMA offers legal privilege for the individuals involved in the mediation process and maintains the essential confidentiality for mediation communication while resolving the disputes.

  • The policies of UMA generally do not conflict with the state or local laws and promotes the consistency of the state statute. However, in order to avoid the redundant interruption on the critical issue of confidentiality this mediation law adopts the structure that is mostly used by the majority of the states.

Federal mediation:

  1. The US federal government is also very supportive in promoting mediation law within its own range and mandates that federal courts should establish and authorize the use of mediation and arbitration in all civil, administrative, employment and labor-management relations.

  2. To promote the mediation the US government has enforced several laws such as the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1996, the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 1998 and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) mediation program which offer alternate dispute resolution (ADR) services in various formats.

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