HOW DOES MEDIATION WORK?
Parties either agree to or are ordered by the court to attempt mediation to resolve their specific matter. The parties, usually through attorneys, will draft a memorandum of the facts and issues involved, as well as any settlement negotiations that have occurred.
Judge Serratelli will read the memoranda and pleadings, if any, before meeting with the parties. depending on the case, the mediation may begin with a joint meeting of the parties. Alternatively, she may meet the parties separately at her office and then “shuttle” between the parties to see if agreements can be reached on the various issues and financial considerations. Ultimately, the parties determine the resolution. The judge does not impose a decision upon them.
HOW DOES ARBITRATION WORK?
Unlike mediation, in arbitration Judge Serratelli will make the ultimate decision which the parties have agreed in advance to consider a final order. She will review pleadings and memoranda by the parties, take testimony under oath and make legal rulings in the case. Once the judge makes a determination, she will draft a written decision for the parties.
WHAT IS THE COST?
Judge Serratelli charges an hourly rate and requests an advance retainer which is estimated based on complexity of the issues involved. typically the parties agree to share the cost of mediation or arbitration.