Mediation of Business Disputes
Mediation offers a process for disputing parties to work collectively with the aid of an impartial, third-party REALTOR® volunteer to resolve their dispute. Mediation offers:
- Speedier results than the hearing process
- Participants create their own mutually agreeable settlement
- More amicable results
- Sense of personal accomplishment
Compare Different Dispute Resolution Approaches
|Both parties must appear at the session?||Yes||Yes. A hearing cannot be held without the complainant being present.|
|Who makes decisions?||Parties||Panel of REALTORS®|
|Settlement is fashioned from AAR Code of Ethics?||Not all the time. Parties decide resolution.||Yes|
|Decisions are known the same day?||Yes||No|
|Results are confidential?||Yes||Yes|
|Is legal representation permitted?||Yes||Yes|
What is mediation at Arizona Association of REALTORS®?
The Arizona Association of REALTORS® (AAR) provides mediation as an option to parties involved in arbitration disputes. Parties may voluntarily submit to mediation before filing an arbitration request.
What happens at the mediation conference?
Mediation sessions are usually held at a REALTOR® association the parties are members. Each party will get an opportunity to address their position without the formality of a hearing. Discussion of positions and possible solution take place.
Who are the mediators?
AAR-appointed mediators are also objective REALTORS® trained to listen, encourage open communication and help the parties to resolve their issues.
What are the benefits of mediation?
Parties are completely involved in determining the outcome of their dispute. Possible results can be any agreement that satisfies the dispute and may include results not available to a formal arbitration request. At an arbitration hearing, the hearing panel determines the outcome, not the parties.
What if we can’t agree?
When there is no agreement between the parties, the arbitration may be referred to a hearing. The details of the mediation attempt are confidential and will not be shared as part of the hearing process.
How to initiate a voluntary mediation session
If an arbitration request has not been filed, complete and return a Mediation of a Business Dispute Form. Once a request has been submitted to AAR the offer will be extended to the other party to mediate the dispute. If the other party agrees to participate with mediation, a date will be selected and a mediation officer will be assigned.
The Mediation Process
During the Session
- Parties to a mediation conference may be accompanied to the session by legal counsel. If it is your intent to have legal counsel present at your mediation session, the REALTOR® and AAR staff should be advised of this fact, in writing, at least ten (10) days prior to the mediation session.
- Parties to a mediation may withdraw from the process at any time prior to reaching an agreement. The complainant is free to have their dispute considered through the formal arbitration process should either party withdraw from mediation prior to reaching an agreement.
- In the event the agreement is not upheld by the terms agreed to by the parties, the dispute may be submitted judicially for enforcement.
Mediation Agreement Options
- Parties to the mediation may agree to a mutual resolution of the matter at any time during the mediation conference. The Mediation Officer and parties have considerable latitude in fashioning a mutually acceptable resolution.
- With the mediator’s assistance, parties may explore and refine workable solutions. The mediator will help the parties put their agreement in writing. Once the agreement is signed by all parties, then all related claims or suits are also resolved. The mediation agreement becomes binding, and the mediation is concluded.
- If the parties to the mediation conference are unable to resolve the matter, any offers of settlement that were not accepted or any suggested resolution proposed by the Mediation Officer that was not accepted will not be introduced as evidence nor considered in any manner should the matter require an arbitration hearing.
To ensure impartiality and to avoid the possible appearance of bias a Mediation Officer cannot refer concerns regarding the conduct of any party to a mediation to the Grievance Committee, the real estate licensing authority, or to any other regulatory body.