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Mediation Doesn’t Always Mean Money

A large part of my practice is before the Ohio Division of Real Estate, and I’ve been involved in countless mediations.  Many of you likely don’t know the Division has a mediation program or how it works.  Take a few moments and to learn about it, as it may be something you’ll need one day.  The Division’s mediation program provides a useful tool whereby grievances between consumers and agents can be resolved, avoiding the Division’s disciplinary process and possibly civil litigation.

The process starts when a complainant files a complaint against an agent with the Division.  The agent will receive a letter from the Division along with information about the Division’s mediation program.  I urge you to give mediation careful thought, as it may be a way to not only address the complainant’s concerns but resolve the complaint at the same time.

Mediation is confidential, so you need not be concerned about your participation becoming a public record.  If the case is settled in mediation, the case is closed and there will be no investigation of the complainant’s allegations, no matter how inflammatory or salacious.  Further, it is a process whereby a complainant can receive something (monetary or otherwise) whereby if the case goes to investigation, the complainant receives nothing.

Most may think that mediation involves the exchange of money, and oftentimes it does.  I have however been involved in mediations where all the complainant sought was an apology.  Other cases have been more complex involving global settlements of multiple parties and companion civil cases.  Just recently I was involved in a mediation that involved the agent writing an article and taking some education.  Yet other cases are resolved with a contribution to a local charity.  The Division’s mediators are trained to facilitate resolution in a manner that is courteous and not judgmental.  So if the day comes where you find yourself the subject of a complaint, I urge you to give mediation a try.  It doesn’t always involve the payment of money and you may resolve not only the complainant’s concern but also a Division disciplinary case.

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