Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How does mediation work?
Mediation is a voluntary process. Parties mutually select Ms. Ariel as their attorney-mediator who remains neutral and helps individuals, businesses and organizations come to their own agreements. A mediator does not have the authority to decide the case. This responsibility remains with the parties. Ordinarily, mediation proceeds by contracting to mediate, defining the problems, working through the conflict, developing and deciding on options, and finally creating a written agreement. Depending on the type of case, different methods or conflict resolution styles may be used, such as negotiated-interest based, transformative, evaluative or facilitative. Parties may or may not choose to be represented by their own advocates or attorneys. Documents and papers will probably be exchanged. Experts may be employed. The best conflict resolution process will be designed by Ms. Ariel for each particular dispute. Everything is held confidential by the mediator and it is advisable to hold off on litigation while mediation is going on.

How does arbitration work?
After being selected, the arbitrator will schedule pre-hearing conferences, establish discovery limits, and conduct a fundamentally fair hearing where the parties present and exchange briefs, present arguments and present sworn testimony from witnesses. The process is more formal than mediation and the decision rendered after hearing is usually binding on the parties. It may be reviewed by a court. Arbitration provisions are customarily written into contracts, especially business, employment and consumer contracts. Arbitration may be ordered by statute or by a court. The arbitrator from RI Mediator will have the requisite knowledge and experience to preside in the case. From a practical and ethical standpoint, after hearing, the parties may agree that the arbitrator switch roles and help them by acting as a mediator to reach their own agreement themselves.

How Do I Choose a Mediator, Arbitrator or Conflict Resolution Consultant?
If you are an individual, business person, organization member, or attorney with a dispute that needs a resolution, then you are seeking a qualified, experienced lawyer, attorney, legal professional. Overall, you are looking for someone with integrity, impartiality and fairness as attributes.

More than likely, you want experience.
RI Mediator has thirty years of experience as a lawyer attorney including litigation, conflict resolution, and negotiation as well as prior legal experience as a State prosecutor and State and Federal government regulatory officer. In additional, Ms. Ariel has training in science, psychology, and business. Ms. Ariel is approved by the Rhode Island Courts and by the Federal Courts in the Rhode Island District and is a member of various conflict resolution panels. Hundreds of cases have been tried to verdict or settled before proceeding to a trial, and hundreds of matters have been mediated or negotiated without resorting to the adversarial court system.

Plus, you probably want somebody who really understands conflict and processes for resolution.
We know that any conflict lying below the surface can ripen into an open dispute. We know how to get to the heart of the matter and unlock the underlying issues to quickly begin addressing the real core of parties’ differences. We can design unique dispute resolution processes that work for you. We strive to ensure that very dispute ends up with a win-win resolution. We are adept at bringing clashing sides together and getting results.

Certainly, you want someone who understands the law and has been on both sides of disputes.

Mediators do not act as attorneys or legal advocates for any one party during a mediation process. Unlike non-attorney mediators, however, Ms. Ariel brings a wealth of insight and knowledge about the law and legal procedures to the mediation process to help you resolve your dispute. Someone who can help you consider the strengths and weaknesses from a legal perspective and who can also bring a business perspective to the case is most useful. Having a good understanding of the negotiation process and different styles of negotiation, we can quickly move the case toward common ground. Arbitrators must know the law controlling the dispute and apply it fairly to the facts of the case.

You are probably looking for someone who can look at the human interactions and business angles at the same time.
Suppose it is important to you to preserve your long-term business or personal relationship with the other side. Or, imagine that the cost-benefit analysis, the risk-reward profile, or asset redistribution is important to you. We can help you address those aspects of your matters.

How long will it take?
It depends on the amount in dispute and the complexity of the issues. Some cases, like property, employment, injury or business disputes, can be concluded in a couple of hours or in one day. Arbitrated cases are typically estimated and defined to particular timeframes. Others, such as custody disputes or contested divorces or other long-standing problems, may require multiple meetings. Still others, like facilitated meetings, will be ongoing contracts with the organization or business involved.

Where will it occur?
Conflict resolution can occur at our offices or at any mutually agreeable location that is free from distractions and provides an environment conducive to resolution.

How do I get started?
If you are in need conflict resolution services, CONTACT US NOW AT 401.295.2922 or


Christine W. Ariel, Esq.
Attorney & Counsellor at Law
Mediator, Arbitrator & Conflict Resolution Consultant
70 Romano Vineyard Way, Suite 147
North Kingstown, RI 02852

Fax: 401.295.9410

Any communication sent or delivered to this law firm by electronic means or otherwise shall not createan attorney-client relationship or constitute the beginning of legal representation. Nothing is confidential unless we represent you. You understand and agree that sending this communication does not preclude or prevent this law firm from representing an adverse party.