How Mediation Works

Mediation is an alternative approach to resolving conflicts that develop between people.

Instead of going to court, the disputing parties voluntarily meet with a neutral third-party mediator to reach a mutually agreeable solution to the problem. Problems also can be conciliated by center staff through working between the parties by telephone without the need for a mediation session. Mediation and conciliation services are available to all Jefferson and Lewis County residents at no cost. At the mediation session all parties have the opportunity to express their point of view. Witnesses and/or an attorney may attend the mediation session, although a lawyer is not necessary. With the mediators, all areas of the conflict are explored for possible solutions. The parties take responsibility to work together on their problem.

When the resolution is reached, a written agreement is signed by the parties.

Why Should You Try Mediation?

  • Your dispute will be scheduled quickly.
  • Sessions are scheduled at times and places convenient to the parties.
  • Escalation of minor matters into more serious matters is avoided.
  • Matters are kept confidential.
  • Parties have the opportunity to express their views.
  • No decision will be imposed on the parties.
  • All agreements must be mutual.
  • Agreements can involve monetary restitution.
  • Programs have demonstrated a high satisfaction rate and a high compliance rate.
  • There is no cost to participants.


Who Are The Mediators?
Mediators are professionally trained volunteers and program staff. They serve as neutral parties who are ready to listen and take the time necessary to help both parties reach a mutual agreement.

Who Sponsors Mediation Centers?
On July 27, 1981, the New York State Legislature passed Chapter 847, Laws of 1981, establishing the Community Dispute Resolution Centers Program. The program is administered by the Unified Court system of the State of New York. Funding is provided by a partnership between the State and local funding sources. On May 29, 1984, the program was made a permanent component of the Unified Court System under Chapter 156, Laws of 1984.

Programs are private, non-profit, community-based agencies which contract with the Chief administrator of the Courts to provide dispute resolution services to the citizens and justice system in New York State.

Would you like to become a volunteer mediator?

Would you like to make a tax-deductible donation to this program?

Would you like to have a speaker visit your organization to talk about mediation programs?

For more information, please contact our agency at:

Resolution Center of Jefferson and Lewis Counties, Inc.
200 Washington Street, Suite 207
Watertown, NY 13601

Jefferson County: 785-0333
Lewis County: 376-7991
Fax: 785-0322