Mediation is common alternative dispute resolution method in Minnesota. At mediation, the parties are paired with a neutral mediator (meaning the mediator does not represent either party as an attorney or advocate). The parties are free to discuss their issues and attempt to reach an amicable solution with the help of the mediator. What happens in mediation is confidential and cannot be introduced as evidence later in court.
If the parties reach agreement on some—or all—of their issues, the mediator will draft a statement outlining the agreement. The mediation statement is not a binding court order. Since the mediator does not represent either party, an outside attorney will need to be hired to draft the mediation statement into a binding document and order for the judge to sign.
Minnesota also offers a program referred to as Early Neutral evaluation (ENE). ENEs are generally related to children, a SENE, or property, a FENE. These programs are available in many Minnesota judicial districts and work as an early mediation stage for many parties. We are available to answer any questions you may have regarding this process, as well as any other mediation questions you may have.