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How it works:

MDSGC is bringing people together to talk and resolve their differences. An informal, private process in which a neutral third party, the mediator, helps people talk through their differences and negotiate and arrive to solutions. Who are the Mediators? The mediators come from a broad variety of backgrounds and professionals.

Mediation is a voluntary, confidential process where a neutral third-party (the mediator), helps parties in conflict come together to talk and decide how to resolve their dispute. The mediator does not take sides or make decisions for the parties. The mediator enables and empowers the parties to reach an agreement that they both can live with.

At the mediation, the mediator will give both parties an opportunity to express their point of view in a safe, comfortable environment. In most cases, the parties and the mediator will initially be in the same room. At different times throughout the mediation process, the mediator may meet with each party privately while the other party waits outside. The private meetings allow the parties to share information with the mediator and come up with and test possible solutions and ideas with the mediator, before presenting them to the other party. The mediator will try to help the parties reach an agreement that is fair and acceptable to both parties. The mediator serves as a guide for the process, while the parties create the agreement.

What does it mean that the mediation is confidential?

It means that whatever you say in mediation (whether it is when you and the mediator are talking alone, or when you and the other party are talking with the mediator), will not be repeated outside the mediation by the mediator. If the mediation is not successful and you go to court, the mediator cannot be subpoenaed or required to testify in court, nor can any/all records or paperwork from the MDSGC be used in the Court proceeding.

What if I don’t want to settle in mediation?

That is your choice. The mediator will not tell you what to do. If you and the other party are unable to come up with an agreement in mediation, then you can take other action such as filing a Claim in Court (or return to court if you have already initiated a Complaint) or initiate arbitration.

What if the other party does not agree to mediate?

If you would like to mediate, the Case Manager or mediator (depending on where you initiate the mediation), will encourage the other party to agree to participate. However, mediation is a voluntary process, and no one will be required to mediate.
What are the advantages of mediation?

Mediation gives you and the other party the chance to resolve the dispute yourselves. Most people are more satisfied with resolutions that they develop themselves, than those that are imposed on them. You can resolve your claim in mediation in much less time than it would take to complete an investigation and get a decision in the regular process.
In general, mediation is less costly and faster than arbitration or litigation.

Should I bring an attorney to the mediation?

You may bring your attorney to the mediation, but counsel is not required. Usually only the disputing parties and the mediator are present at the mediation session to encourage conversation between the parties themselves and minimize the adversarial nature of the dispute. If an agreement is reached and put in writing, you can take the agreement to your attorney for review before signing it. You may also contact your attorney via telephone at any time during the mediation.

Should I bring witnesses to support my case?

No. There are no witnesses or judges at a mediation session. Generally, only the disputing parties and the mediator are present at the mediation. The purpose of the mediation is not to determine who is right or wrong. Instead, the purpose is for the parties to talk with each other and to work out a mutually acceptable agreement to settle the dispute.

Who are the mediators?

MDSGC provides trained mediators. These mediators have completed specialized training and have significant mediation experience. The mediators are assigned by the Case Managers or by office director according to the issues in the dispute and the training of the mediator.

What is the difference between mediation and arbitration?

Although less formal, arbitration is similar to court. In arbitration, both sides present their positions to the arbitrator, including witnesses and evidence, and the arbitrator then makes a decision. In mediation, the mediator does not render a decision. Instead, the mediator facilitates communication between the parties and helps them come up with ideas that will resolve the situation. Any agreement that arises out of mediation is mutually decided and agreed upon by the parties themselves.

Mediation Training:

MDSGC conducts at least three regularly scheduled basic mediation trainings throughout the year that are opened to everyone. In addition, we customize a training or workshop at the request of a group, agency or business. MDSGC employs a wide variety of training materials developed and other dispute resolution and professionals. The training is highly interactive and uses demonstrations, simulated situations, role-plays, and large and small group exercises and activities. Our workshops are designed with the adult learner in mind- combining theory, observation, experiential exercises and practice opportunities for meaningful and enduring learning.  Content includes conflict theory and interest-based negotiating, group and organizational dynamics, communications skills, mediation processes and frameworks for facilitation, two-party, multi-party and large-group intervention practices, and ethical considerations.

These workshops can benefit anyone who is interested in improving their communication skills, understanding conflict and how to work through it. Our workshops also support those who work with others and who facilitate collaborative interest-based processes (e.g., mediation, facilitation, public participation), including human resource professionals, mediators, facilitators, consultants, educators, senior and mid-level executives, nonprofit professionals, government employees, and graduate students. You will learn essential skills to enhance your effectiveness in the workplace and in life!
Currently Scheduled Courses:


Comprehensive Mediation Training (40-hour Certificate of Completion).
Offered four times a year.  Participants learn mediation from the inside out, come away with valuable conflict-resolution skills, gain an understanding of best practices.


Advanced Mediation Training:
This is an innovative, in-depth course designed to develop advanced mediation skills
and enhance your professional standing.  It combines an independent-study component
of your choice with advanced coursework


Conflict Management:  Theories and Practices
Participants learn the theory and practice of managing and resolving conflict in a variety of contexts and forums, explore the sources and nature of conflict, and develop essential practice skills. 



                             Level II

                             Level II

Essentials of conflict-resolution theory


Interest-based mediation

Spectrum of mediation styles

Essential communication/people skills

Emotional and psychological considerations

Face-to-face mediation and caucusing

Moving through impasse

Cross- and intercultural issues in mediation

Negotiating monetary settlements

Reaching effective agreements

Ethical rules and interesting dilemmas

Effective mediation of business, workplace, labor/employment, healthcare, real estate, construction, land-use, intellectual-property, personal-injury, probate/trust, intercultural, family issues, communities issues, and organizational disputes

Premeditation and follow-up procedures

Attorney advocacy and fee issues

Insurance issues and representatives

Communication and coping skills: managing deadlocks, difficult people, and emotionally charged situations

Career options and resources

Managing and marketing your business

All levels


Early Registration*

Comprehensive Mediation Training—both Level I and Level II (for 40-hour Certificate of Completion)



Level I only (a two-day course)



Level II only (a three-day course)



Advanced Mediation Training



Conflict Management:  Theories and Practices (U.C. Berkeley Course)





Participants who cannot attend on one of the above dates may be able to attend a subsequent session.

Certificates of Completion will be given only to those who attend the full 40 hours of the program.

We appreciate your patronage and referrals
MDSGC provides accessible, high-quality dispute resolution service such as mediation, conciliation, arbitration, and training.


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  Mailing Address: P O Box 8734 Axleandria, VA 22306. Headquarters: 4801 Georgia Ave NW, Washington DC 20011
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