Mediation is an informal, non-adversarial process in which a neutral mediator guides and assists two or more people in finding potential ways to resolve a dispute. As a mediator, Ms. Birge is committed to neutrality and fairness, and to helping parties find reasonable, effective, economical, and mutually acceptable solutions to their disputes. In mediation, the parties decide for themselves whether to settle at that time, and under what terms a settlement may be reached.

Confidential, Private, Flexible

Unlike arbitration, where an intermediary hears the arguments of both sides then makes a decision, a mediator assists the parties to develop their own solutions by helping the parties communicate more effectively and negotiate fairly in a neutral environment. A mediator may provide ideas, suggestions, and proposals for settlement, but the outcome must always be decided by the parties themselves.

Cost Effective, Informed Decision Making

Mediation helps the parties understand the issues from all sides of the problem, and encourages exploration of possible options for resolution. Sometimes there are important, non-economic components of the resolution process that can get lost in the heat of litigation. Mediation encourages people to develop and propose creative ways to resolve problems before they commit to the burdens and the financial and emotional costs associated with litigation. Mediation gives people the opportunity to make informed decisions in a courteous, “no risk” environment.

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