Placer Dispute Resolution Service (PDRS)

Community Mediation in Placer County

The Case Development Process

One disputant contacts PDRS by phone. We describe the mediation process and its benefits, answer questions, address concerns and get an idea of the nature of the dispute.

Next, we’ll mail detailed information to you. If you agree to have us contact the second party, you provide contact information and we mail a letter and details about mediation and PDRS to the other party. A non-refundable case development fee applies.

Several days after the information is mailed we call the second party to answer questions and attempt to obtain their agreement to participate. Please keep in mind that mediators do not take sides or advocate for either party or give advice.

The Mediation Process

During mediation, the parties have an uninterrupted opportunity to give their perspective and describe concerns.

Mediators ask clarifying questions to ensure all aspects of the dispute are understood. At this point, the disputants often feel a great sense of relief because they have been listened to by the other party, sometimes for the very first time.

Then, through a series of mediation techniques, impartial mediators help the parties define the problem, break the conflict down to its most basic components, identify and prioritize issues and help the parties determine their interests.

Next, issues are examined to determine what must be addressed to solve the problem. The key to mediation is shifting focus away from dwelling on history and a limited discussion of positions to the discovery of true issues and the interests which drive the conflict.

Finally, mediators guide disputants through a discussion of settlement options ( how the dispute can be resolved) and will assist in crafting an agreement which can be written or oral, depending on the wishes of the parties.

If you have been referred to mediation by the courts or have a court case pending, your written agreement can be entered into the record of the court if all parties so desire and the judge agrees.

Mediations normally last no more than three hours, and second sessions can be scheduled with the agreement of the parties.