A few mediators are also attorneys and some attorneys are also mediators. Currently about 10-15% of mediators that are members of the Montana Mediation Association are also attorneys.
Yes, there are three mediation styles.
1. Evaluative/Settlement conference
Every form of mediation is completely confidential. A facilitative and transformative style mediation is highly recommended for relationships that are long-lasting such as neighbors, work-related, and family. These two types of mediation styles help relationships improve and empower the participants to continue to have positive interactions long into the future. Participants most commonly experience win-win outcomes. Settlement conference type mediations more often have win/lose and lose/lose results. Settlement conference type mediations are more expensive and take longer because parties are in separate rooms. The relationship, communication, and skills to deal with conflicts again are often not improved by participation in a settlement conference.
As early in the dispute as possible! Once a party has filed with the court often times the dispute has escalated and is more difficult to resolve without professional help. A mediator brought in early can help keep communication open and guide the parties to craft a resolution they both can live with.
If you feel you can handle the conflict on your own without a third party but need some help as to how to approach the issue, then conflict coaching is a good choice for your situation.