Archive for the ‘Mediation’ Category

Will Mediation Allow Me to Tell My Side of the Story?

Wednesday, February 15th, 2023

Mediation is an extremely productive dispute resolution process that allows parties to resolve disputes in a private and less formal setting with the help of a neutral third party, the mediator. Mediation is a commonly used method that is effectively used to resolve disputes in various contexts, such as employment disputes, business disputes, civil litigation, and divorce. The question of whether mediation will allow you to tell your side of the story is valid, and if you are seeking to be heard and your grievances addressed, mediation may be the best option for you.

How Mediation Can Help You Tell Your Side of the Story?

Mediation can help you to tell your side of the story in several ways:

Informal Setting

Mediation as an alternative dispute resolution practice provides a more relaxed and informal setting than formal litigation in a courtroom, allowing for a more authentic and open discussion of the issues. This can create an atmosphere where you feel comfortable telling your side of the story and expressing your needs and interests.

Active Participation

In mediation, you are actively involved in the process and have the opportunity to tell your side of the story. The mediator acts as a facilitator, helping to create an environment where you can communicate effectively. Active participation allows you to have a voice in the outcome of the dispute and work towards a mutually acceptable resolution.


Mediation is a more flexible and informal approach to resolving disputes than litigation in a courtroom. With traditional litigation, the strict rules of procedure and evidence you must follow can make it challenging to tell your side of the story without fear of repercussions. In contrast, mediation is a far more relaxed and collaborative approach. If you can’t go to the mediation center then they can offer remote mediation sessions create virtual solutions. Although there are rules, such as not interrupting or talking over the other party, you can have open, respectful communication and air your interests and concerns freely. This way, it is possible to have solutions tailored to meet your needs and those of the other party.


Another huge benefit of mediation is that it provides a safe and completely confidential space for resolving disputes. The proceedings in a mediation session are privileged, and you, therefore, have far greater privacy. Nothing you share with the mediator during mediation can be used against you in formal litigation. In a courtroom setting, however, the proceedings are open to the public, making it difficult to discuss sensitive and private information and making you feel like you have yet to be heard. The ability for the mediator to speak with each party ex-parte can also provide a sense of comfort and security for you, as you can discuss sensitive or personal information in a private setting, free from the public scrutiny of a courtroom. Mediation may be best for you if your case is sensitive and involves a lot of personal information being shared.

Focus on Interests

Focus on interests in mediation refers to the approach where a mediator seeks to identify the underlying reasons behind a party’s position. Mediation focuses on such interests rather than your position and, in this way, allows you to tell your side of the story. For example, say you and your neighbor are conflicting over the fence placement in your backyard. Your position is that you would like the fence to be a few feet into your neighbor’s backyard, while your neighbor prefers having the fence on the property line. A mediator will strive to learn the reason behind this and come up with an amicable solution for both parties after understanding all of the facts of the issue.

Collaborative Space

Mediation is a collaborative and solution-focused approach to dispute resolution, which can result in greater emotional satisfaction and closure for the parties involved. Unlike traditional litigation, which can be extremely adversarial and emotionally draining, mediation allows the parties to work together to find a mutually acceptable resolution. A collaborative space like this can reduce tensions and negative emotions, leading to more open communication where your side of the story can be heard. The collaborative nature of mediation can also help to preserve relationships between the parties, which can be particularly important in disputes involving family members, business partners, or long-term colleagues.

To reap the benefits of mediation, choosing a mediator with the skills and experience to manage the process effectively is crucial. A skilled mediator can help how to prepare for your mediation session and create a safe and collaborative environment where you feel heard and understood and achieve fair and satisfying resolutions.

Contact a Skilled and Experienced Mediator in California

If you are facing a dispute in California, contact the skilled and experienced mediator at BlueSky Mediation Center in California. You can reach us at 760-454-7277 to schedule a free consultation today. You can also email our case manager, Allison Fortuna, at We are committed to listening to your side of the story and achieving fair resolutions for your dispute as expeditiously as possible.

How to Prepare for Your Mediation Session

Sunday, January 15th, 2023

Mediation is a process of resolving disputes outside of court, where a neutral third party, known as a mediator, facilitates communication and negotiations between the disputing parties. In California, mediation has become an extremely popular and effective way to handle conflict resolution, as it is quicker, less expensive, and less formal than going to court.

It is important to be well-prepared to ensure your mediation session is productive and successful.

This article discusses some tips to help you prepare for your mediation session in California so you can feel confident and ready for a productive negotiation.

1. Choose a Highly Qualified and Experienced Mediator

Take time to research mediators and choose someone with experience relevant to your dispute. It is also advisable to review the mediation process, including the role of the mediator, the rules of evidence, how the session will be structured, measures for confidentiality, and the cost of the mediation session. Many mediators charge an hourly fee for all work performed, while others charge a one-time, simple flat fee.

2. Gather Relevant Documents

Gather any documents related to the dispute, such as emails, receipts, contracts, invoices, or other materials that you foresee coming in handy in the resolution. Be thoroughly familiar with your documents, and be prepared to clarify and provide explanations as needed. These documents help support your case and may also be useful in negotiating a resolution.

3. Communicate With the Other Party

Try to communicate with the other party ahead of the mediation session. This helps clear up misunderstandings and establish a more positive atmosphere for the session. However, avoid discussing confidential information that may be inappropriate outside the mediation session. In California, mediation proceedings and communications between parties are confidential and inadmissible as evidence in court, except in very limited circumstances. The high level of confidentiality means that any information or statements made during mediation cannot be disclosed or used in court without the consent of all parties. By avoiding discussing confidential or sensitive information outside of the mediation session, you can help to protect the confidentiality and privacy of the negotiation process.

4. Arrange for Representation

If you have a lawyer, discuss your case in detail with them well before the mediation session. Your lawyer can help you prepare for the session and provide legal advice during the session if needed. You may also have your lawyer help you prepare your mediation brief, which is a summary of your position, as many mediators ask for briefing ahead of your mediation session. If you do not have a lawyer, consider hiring one or finding a free or low-cost legal services provider.

5. Consider Goals for Your Mediation

It is important to consider what you hope to achieve in the session. Consider your goals and what matters to you in solving the dispute. Before the mediation session, take some time to think about your priorities and goals for the session and how you will determine if you have achieved the result you were hoping for from the session. This will help you stay focused during the session and make reaching a resolution that meets your goals and needs easier. It is important to remember that compromise is an inherent part of the mediation process.

6. Be Prepared to Make the First Offer

If you value the financial result from the mediation session, making a reasonable and fair first offer will enable you to anchor the negotiation in your favor. However, if you are uncertain about the value of what you are negotiating or would prefer to avoid the stress and anxiety that comes with “showing your cards” first, it may be best to refrain from making the first offer. Be sure to discuss this in detail with your lawyer well before the mediation session to determine your agreed upon strategy.

7. Be Open to Compromise

Mediation is a process that involves give and take, and being open to compromise is absolutely critical in order to move the mediation process forward. The success of the process depends on all parties’ willingness to compromise. Be prepared to listen to the other party’s perspective and consider their position.

8. Be Prepared to Make a Decision

At the end of the session, the mediator may ask you to decide whether to accept a proposed resolution. Be prepared to make a decision, but also be prepared to continue the negotiation process if needed. Mediation provides you with a wonderful opportunity to put an end to protracted litigation, and that decision is ultimately yours to make.

Contact the Skilled Mediators in Encinitas, California, at Blue Sky Mediation Center, LLC. If you are considering mediation for your dispute, contact our experienced mediator in San Diego County at Blue Sky Mediation Center or call us at 760.454.7277. Schedule a free consultation with us today, and we can help you determine which legal resolution method is right for you.

Diffusing the Cost of Conflict Through Mediation

Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

At Blue Sky Mediation Center, our experienced San Diego County mediator knows every mediation session is unique, which means the overall cost of the conflict resolution depends on the nature of the dispute. Most mediations can be completed in one session, but some of the more complex disputes do require two or more sessions to reach a full and final settlement.

Estimates do show that mediation is vastly less expensive than a typical lawsuit, often producing results that are 60%-80% less expensive than conventional litigation. One of the most common reasons that is true is that mediation allows business and civil disputes to be settled promptly. That means less time in sessions, minimal attorney fees, and fewer personal and professional resources exhausted by the mediating parties.

Here are a few other ways mediation can diffuse the cost of your dispute, so you can move forward with confidence.

Litigation is Time Consuming, Which Means More Billable Hours

When most people think of litigation, they think of the process as filing a lawsuit, and an ensuing
courtroom fight. The reality is, litigation involves all legal preparation processes that occur before, during, and after the actual lawsuit. This may include the pleadings — which are each party’s initial claims and defenses stated in writing — the discovery process, negotiation stages, motions, trial, and any potential appeals.

If the litigation process ends in a trial, the actual court proceedings may only take a few days, except in especially complex cases where both sides present extensive witnesses and technical evidence, where the trial can stretch on for weeks.

However, it is the pre-trial process and the progression of preparing a case through discovery that can take weeks, months, or even years. Unfortunately, if this is true for your case, attorney hourly rates remain the most common way legal fees are charged and are the biggest cost involved in litigation.

Other costs charged by a law firm may include, but are not limited to copy, postage, and filing
fees, travel expenses, and payment for expensive expert witnesses, appraisers, and consultants, which may be charged upfront or along with the legal fee payments.

The principal fact is that litigation can be incredibly costly, making mediation the favored and often advisable route for most conflicts that are suitable for this type of expedited dispute resolution.

Contact Blue Sky Mediation Center Today to Discuss Your Dispute Resolution Needs

To learn more about the mediation process, and how our remote sessions create virtual solutions that fit all types of civil disputes, contact our San Diego County mediator at Blue Sky Mediation Center by calling 760.454.7277 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal needs today.


How Important is Confidentiality to the Mediation Process?

Saturday, October 15th, 2022

At Blue Sky Mediation Center, our experienced San Diego County mediator knows privacy is one of the central reasons many people choose mediation to resolve both personal and professional disputes outside of the courtroom. The broad scope of the mediation privilege allows for a safe space to openly discuss all aspects of a dispute.

We also know that confidentiality is what sustains the integrity of this dispute-resolution process.

Here is why.

Choosing Mediation Over Litigation Requires Trust in the Process

When two or more parties are having difficulties resolving their dispute, it is often because they simply do not have the tools or resources to effectively communicate and settle their conflict. The parties oftentimes fear the threat of communications becoming part of future or pending litigation.  Mediation protects all communications that arise in the process and allows them to remain fully confidential.

Mediation has emerged over the past few decades as an extremely successful tool to resolve these disputes without entering a courtroom or allowing a judge or jury to make decisions for those involved.

The mediator, like ours at Blue Sky Mediation Center, provides a relaxed and informal environment — which can be the comfort of each party’s own home, office, or wherever they choose — that facilitates and encourages the free exchange of pain points, ideas, and negotiating potential to resolve the conflict, without tempers flaring.

In short, the goal of any mediation session is to reach a settlement between the disputing parties.

Trusting the process means finding middle ground through negotiations and allowing interactions that get the involved parties to communicate “off the record.” When disputing parties trust the process, and know with certainty that the sessions are confidential, it allows each to engage in more honest, transparent, and meaningful interactions and explore potential resolutions that work for everyone without fear that the proposals or settlement offers will be used against them. Instead, the exchange can be considered as a starting point for continued dialogue, which — when facilitated properly — typically result in a legally binding resolution.

What is Considered Confidential During Mediation Sessions?

Typically, anything that gets said at mediation will be considered confidential.

That includes:

  1. Statements / Admissions Made
  2. Certain Documents and Evidence Submitted
  3. Monetary Negotiations
  4. Final Resolutions

What is more, all parties are strictly prohibited from inserting content from mediation negotiations into their court cases, if they cannot reach a settlement and continue with litigation.

Finally, the actual mediator’s statements, findings, and recommendations, if any, will also be considered confidential. Mediators cannot testify in the court case, and are generally barred from speaking with the judge, except for reporting whether a case settled or not.

If you would like to solve your personal or professional dispute outside of the courtroom, we are here to help provide a confidential negotiation platform that produces results.

Contact Blue Sky Mediation Center Today to Discuss Your Dispute Resolution Needs

Whether you are involved in a business dispute, beneficiary conflicts, employment disagreements, or are seeking solutions to personal injury negotiations, contact our San Diego County mediator at Blue Sky Mediation Center at 760.454.7277 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal needs today.

How Do I Know If My Conflict is Suited for Mediation?

Thursday, September 15th, 2022

At Blue Sky Mediation Center, our experienced San Diego County mediator knows when business, family, or other relationships are strained, communication is the key to reaching an amicable solution.

The trouble is, most disputes begin with an accusatorial tone, which leads to confrontation, combative responses and, eventually, an impasse, with no solution in sight.

That is why we are here.

The mediation process allows a third party to intervene to change the dynamics and interaction of the disputants, so they can communicate openly and honestly, and know their voices are being heard.

When is Mediation Appropriate?

When two or more parties are having difficulties resolving their dispute, it is often because they simply do not have the tools or resources to effectively settle their conflict.

Whether one party is avoiding the other, or the dispute has reached a fever pitch, mediation can help by clarifying productive steps for problem solving by providing a neutral, non-threatening environment for discussion.

At Blue Sky Mediation Center, we help our clients experience a relaxed and informal mediation atmosphere, by allowing each party to participate from home, work, or where they are most comfortable. This allows parties that would otherwise be unwilling to meet face-to-face to discuss the dispute and provide the reassurance and boundaries they need to pursue real results.

Common disputes that are appropriate for mediation may include, but are not limited to disputes involving:

Mediation is designed to help develop solutions and potentially preserve relationships.

A mutually developed agreement to a dispute allows all parties to control the outcome outside of the courtroom, which is critical to the success and staying power of the final agreement.

Contact Blue Sky Mediation Center Today to Discuss Your Unique Dispute Resolution Needs

Whether you are involved in a business dispute, beneficiary conflicts, employment disagreements, or are seeking solutions to personal injury negotiations, contact our San Diego County mediator at Blue Sky Mediation Center at 760.454.7277 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal needs today.

We are here to adapt our virtual services to your comfortable environment to help put your dispute behind you, so you can move forward with confidence.

How a Relaxed and Informal Mediation Atmosphere Will Help Produce Results

Monday, August 15th, 2022

At Blue Sky Mediation Center, our skilled California mediator knows environments send messages that strongly influence the success of mediation.

A well-designed mediation space provides a safe environment to explore potential solutions and encourages a mutual understanding by helping the parties gain insight into what is important, so they can align their goals.

We take this important approach one step further, developing solutions virtually, so our clients have an even greater chance of achieving a full and final settlement without leaving their home, office, or comfortable surroundings of their choice.

Here is why virtual mediation is making its mark, and solidifying results.

Physical Surroundings Affect Each Party’s Comfort Levels

When parties agree to mediation, they have a preconceived notion of how the process will work. In most people’s minds, mediation means compromise. The reality is, one of the advantages of mediation is that all parties can experience a space where they feel respected and heard.

When their physical surroundings feel safe, higher comfort levels will usher the conversation forward.

At Blue Sky Mediation Center, we remove the discomfort of placing the negotiating parties in the same room, so they can maintain their position from a place of comfort. For some, that place is at home, where they can relax and have an honest conversation about their needs. For others, it is in their offices, where they have access to their files and support network.

This allows each of the involved parties to concentrate on the details of the dispute, and its potential solutions, instead of being intimidated by the sights and sounds of a foreign location.

Increased relaxation levels sweep mediation forward, and this comfort has both physical and emotional components. The comfort of each person’s separate environment strategically and effectively moderates communication.

Like the mediation process itself, the environmental details are significant to each session’s success.

Choosing a Skilled Mediator is Equally Important

We understand that virtual mediation from a relaxed atmosphere promotes authenticity and increases the likelihood of reaching a resolution.

While our clients can choose their environment, which helps advance meditation solutions, no home, office, or another space, no matter how comfortable, will result in a successful resolution without the assistance of an experienced mediator.

However, when our clients have access to both the right mediator and access to a comfortable, safe, and relaxed environment of their choice, it increases the chances of a settlement that remains intact long after the sessions are over.

Whether you are involved in a business dispute, beneficiary conflicts, employment disagreements, or are seeking solutions to personal injury negotiations, contact our San Diego County mediator at Blue Sky Mediation Center at 760.454.7277 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal needs today.

We are here to adapt our virtual services to your comfortable environment to help put your dispute behind you, so you can move forward with confidence.

How Mediation Helps Resolve Conflict Without Tempers Flaring

Friday, July 15th, 2022

At Blue Sky Mediation Center, we understand that trying to settle a conflict with tempers flaring is counterproductive. Chances are, if you are in the middle of a business dispute, probate conflict, employment issue, or another type of negotiation that is currently at a stalemate, you already know that contempt is not moving the conversation towards an agreeable resolution.

When two or more parties cannot engage in productive conversations, they may find it challenging to sit in the same room together, without losing their tempers.  When emotions are extremely high and volatile as they can be any time you find yourself immersed in the stress of litigation, the natural reaction is to come from a place of defensiveness as opposed to compromise.  This is not uncommon, but there is a solution: Mediation. Mediation helps individuals and groups communicate effectively, so they can better understand each other’s perspectives and needs — without losing control of the conversation. Here is how.

Where There Is Conflict, There Are Emotional Responses

If you are involved in a conflict with a business partner, family member, employer, employee, or company representative, you likely feel very strongly about your stance in the dispute. You also know the other party most likely feels the same way, even if you do not agree with them. When there is a dispute, both sides typically believe they are right.  The reality is, focusing on what one believes is ‘right’ may become an impediment to achieving a successful resolution.  To get to a settlement, oftentimes parties need to rise above the emotion, and see the big picture that likely involves many collateral issues.  Our skilled mediator guides the discussion without taking sides, and never judges a party’s position, or gives legal advice. Our role is to act as a catalyst to help individuals or groups involved in a dispute to see beyond their emotions from their issues, identify potential solutions, and choose mutually acceptable outcomes to create a final agreement. That starts by fully outlining the root of the conflict.

Mediation 101: What Caused the Conflict?

At Blue Sky Mediation Center, our experienced mediator provides a private, safe, privileged and engaging environment— even when sessions are conducted remotely — where open-ended and descriptive questions stimulate productive conversation.  This all can be achieved without any risk of having what is being said come back in any formal litigation.  The mediation privilege allows all communications during a mediation to remain privileged and confidential.  Each party will have an uninterrupted opportunity to be heard – to provide their version of events as the mediator actively listens in order to understand where both inconsistencies and common ground exists. Reconstructing the full context of the dispute helps create a 360-degree view of the cause of the conflict. After each party’s perception of the facts is on the table, we can begin dissecting the conflict through respectful dialogue that produces results. Obtaining a full view of both side’s perspectives as well as any legal ramifications and risks of exposure to the parties involved is at the center of the mediation process. This may not happen immediately, but the more each party knows about the other’s “sticking points” will help establish where a compromise is possible.  Truly, the currency we deal in during mediation is compromise.  At this point, we can move into formal negotiations without increasing the discord.

Moving Past the Conflict

An important part of mediation is not necessarily about reconciling the relationship. If that can be a byproduct of the resolution, that is great, but the goal is to afford both sides the peace that comes along with a full settlement of any and all disputes. Problem-solving requires creativity and an open mind, and with a skilled mediator guiding the conversation, the parties can envision their version of a positive outcome and begin negotiating. The goal is to create solutions that resolve the conflict now and prevent similar conflicts from arising in the future. Mediation is a tool that empowers all sides by removing the emotional reaction to the conversation, so they can determine their own outcomes, which helps extend their viability. Once the emotional component is removed, and cooler heads prevail, real solutions emerge.  These solutions can be binding in nature, which allows the parties to trust that the dispute truly is fully resolved.

Emotional Conflicts Are Made for Mediation

Whether you are involved in a business dispute, probate/beneficiary conflicts, employment disagreements, or are seeking solutions to personal injury negotiations, contact our San Diego mediation attorney at Blue Sky Mediation Center at 760.454.7277 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal needs today. You can also see our live online schedule with the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals.

We are here to help put your dispute behind you, so you can move forward with confidence.

Remote Mediation Sessions Create Virtual Solutions

Wednesday, June 15th, 2022

At Blue Sky Mediation, we understand that in 2020, California’s COVID-19 restrictions changed lives locally, nationally, and worldwide. The reality was, even though it did not feel like it at times, the world kept turning. Business, employment, and personal disputes still occurred and were exacerbated by the lack of real-time mediation solutions.

As employers and coworkers, corporate gatherings, classrooms, and even families turned to Zoom for solutions, our San Diego mediation attorney specialists turned to technology for answers, too.

When companies, schools, and individuals began operating and communicating virtually, skepticism regarding its success was immediately apparent. The same was true for mediation.

Our clients were concerned that remote mediation would not be as successful as it might be if all parties were in the same room. We understood. After all, mediation is designed to provide a platform to air grievances, tell your side of the story, and expand the depth of the conversation, face to face.

So, how could mediation be successful any other way?

The reality is, our experienced California mediator continues to settle more cases through remote mediation than our company did before the shutdown.

Here is why.

Decision Makers Are Always in the Room During Remote Mediation Sessions

One of the challenges with in-person mediation was getting the primary parties, secondary participants, and any relevant third parties in the same room, at the same time.

With remote mediation, decision-makers at all levels — corporate leaders, business partners, family members, attorneys, insurance adjusters, and supporting experts — can be present without traveling for the meeting, which means distant parties and other participants can be brought together quickly and easily.

What’s more, the virtual component provides the opportunity to include people who ordinarily might not participate in the mediation session, but who might contribute productively to the negotiation process.

The relative ease of participation in remote mediations can improve the process by allowing participants to work together in configurations that might be impossible if physical meetings were necessary.

These factors improve the substance of negotiations, aid risk assessment, and bring dispute managers closer to the mediation process.

Remote Meetings Create Customized Mediation Sessions That Produce Tangible Results

Remote mediation brings a welcome change to the typical daily patterns of everyone involved — our mediation specialists included.

Since planning is an integral part of mediation success, moving to a virtual approach allows each party to prepare their end of the argument, and to efficiently collaborate with their supporters before the session begins.

Technology allows our California mediator to truly customize each session through advanced planning that provides flexible and efficient solutions that allow us to set up a meeting, adjourn when necessary, and reconvene with relative ease — all without losing the substantive focus.

Tailoring each mediation experience allows Blue Sky Mediation to pursue real results for real people, so each party can move forward with confidence.

Remote Mediation Helps Remove Pressure from a Distressing Situation

Since mediation is a form of dispute resolution, there is an inherent conflict that exists between the parties when they meet, which can make for a distressing situation.

When the participants start the process in a more relaxed environment, either at ease in their own homes or offices, they are more comfortable than they may have been after traveling for the sake of confronting another person or party.

Likewise, the targeted use of joint sessions may also prove to be less uncomfortable via Zoom than when participants are actually sitting in the same room.

Less stress can lead to speedy resolutions, which saves time and money for everyone involved.

Would You Like to Learn More About the Benefits of Remote Mediation Sessions?

Whether you are involved in a business dispute, beneficiary conflicts, or are seeking solutions to personal injury negotiations, contact our San Diego County mediator at Blue Sky Mediation Center at 760.454.7277 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal needs today.