Top 7 Myths about going to Mediation in Arizona

Mediation is widely used to resolve conflicts, and it is highly effective.  However, some people shy away from the process based on popular misconceptions.  This article addresses some of the common mediation myths.

Is Mediation Binding?

Is Mediation Binding?

  1. Mediation isn’t effective. Some people believe mediation is a process where people hold hands, sing Kumbaya and accomplish nothing.  In fact, mediation in Arizona is used by lawyers, large corporations, governments and individuals around the world precisely because it is effective in ending conflicts.
  2. Mediation isn’t binding. At the end of mediation, the parties’ agreements are generally committed to a signed document that is enforceable as a contract.  Mediation agreements in Arizona can result in the dismissal of Court actions, the recording of judgments or any other number of binding and enforceable actions.
  3. Mediation only works if the parties get along. Mediation is an effective way to resolve disputes even where there are bad feelings or anger involved.  The mediator manages emotions and controls the process.  If necessary, the entire mediation can take place with the parties in separate rooms, so that they never even have to look at each other.
  4. Mediation cannot be used to address complex disputes. Mediation can and has been used to resolve complex problems involving millions of dollars and many different parties.   Mediation has even been used to resolve long standing disputes between countries.
  5. I can’t bring an attorney/I have to get an attorney. Parties can attend mediation with or without attorneys.  Mediation can also take place before or after a legal action is filed.
  6. The other party will use what I say in mediation against me. The mediation process is confidential, precisely to encourage parties to make settlement offers and communicate openly.
  7. If I agree to attend mediation, I will be seen as weak. As business owners and political leaders across the globe know, attending mediation just makes good sense.  It gives parties the opportunity to find solutions through talking and problem solving, rather than through expensive, public and exhausting litigation.

Alona M. Gottfried is a mediator and divorce attorney in Arizona.  If you have questions about mediation, she can be reached at: 480-998-1500 or alona(at)  This is a general interest article only and is not intended to be legal advice.  See a legal professional before making legal decisions.

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Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC
8160 E Butherus Dr, Suite #7 Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Phone: (480) 998-1500