Mediation is a confidential form of alternative dispute resolution, where the parties are assisted by a neutral third party to negotiate a settlement. The mediator does not represent either party and does not give either party legal advice. The purpose of the mediator is to keep the lines of communication open between the parties. The mediator is there to help brainstorm ideas, sometimes provide a reality check, and assist the parties in their decision making processes. The mediator helps to be the referee when the parties get off track. Mediation allows the parties to air their grievances in a safe, controlled setting and then reach reasonable compromises.