Mediation is a process of assisted negotiation and private dispute resolution (ADR) where a neutral third-party (mediator) is hired to assist parties in resolving a conflict. The mediator is not able to make a decision for the parties, and has no ability to force a settlement, but is able to assist them in working through a dispute and ultimately arriving as a legally binding resolution.
Some mediations require only a few hours of time to be resolved and other cases take a day or longer. Some cases benefit from having all of the parties in the same room together and other cases warrant separate caucuses in order to be resolved. It is up to the parties. In private sessions, the mediator discusses the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case, explores potential outcomes and offers feedback on a party’s position. Anything discussed with the mediator privately is not relayed to the opposing side without permission. All types of civil cases and issues can be mediated, and common cases include consumer, employment, commercial, neighbor, family, contract, partnership and business dissolution.
Patrick Burns is an experienced mediator and advocate for clients in mediation. He founded a business called ValueSolve ADR in 2010 based on his belief – and that of many judges and lawyers – that mediation costs and processes were getting out of control.
Patrick is one of only three mediators in Minnesota to be certified by the International Mediation Institute (IMI). He also serves as a mediator with the American Arbitration Association (AAA), ValueSolve, Resolute Systems, the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights and Hennepin County District Court. Patrick is a past chair of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s 400 member ADR Section. He has received advanced training in ADR through the Pepperdine School of Law Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution in California. The Straus Institute is considered the premier training ground for ADR professionals in the country.