HOW MEDIATION WORKS
Mediation is a voluntary process whereby the parties engage each with the help of a neutral. The mediator facilitates the communication between the disputing parties to reach a balance and fair agreement. Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process.
You can expect:
To be Heard and allowed to make complete your thoughts without interruption.
To be addressed with respect.
To be understood.
To define areas of disagreement as well as agreement.
To continue the mediation on a voluntary basis and terminate it if unproductive to you.
To be assured of the confidentiality of the process.
Have an initial 15 minute call to determine the suitability of the mediation process for your case. If deemed appropriate, the mediator will need to talk to the other party over the phone for 15 minutes as well.
The mediator will go over the mediation process in detail to explain the expectations listed above and how they will be applied throughout the process. After confirming that both parties are willing to start the mediation on voluntary basis both will sign an agreement to mediate. This agreement does not bind the parties to see the process through to the end, rather it only spells out the ground roles and the parameters of confidentiality.
The next step is to hear from each of the parties about the dispute and ask follow up questions for clarification and understanding. Each of the two will get the same opportunity to share their side of the story.
Finally a wrap up and summarization of the session and assignments for the parties to bring to the next session. This session will be scheduled for 2 hours.
BETWEEN SESSIONS ONE and TWO
The more you invest in gathering the information and documents needed for the next session the faster you can expect the mediation process to conclude and to conclude with a fair and practical well defined agreement.
Continuing on what we build in Session One. The first part of the session is review where the progress made, give an opportunity to the parties to offer thoughts or to make further points to be included in the mediation and to review the information and documents collected. Depending on the complexity of the case, this is when the brainstorming for solutions is started.
THIRD SESSION and consecutive sessions if needed
If an agreement has not been approached by the end of the second session, this session will continue hashing out the different combinations of a fair agreement. Once an agreement is reached, the mediator will draft the agreement and finalize it for completion. Once the parties are satisfied with their agreement they will be encouraged to seek council for further comments before signing it to be record at the courthouse.
GROUND RULES and YOUR RIGHTS DURING THE SESSIONS
You will not be interrupted while you offer your thought and conversely not to disrupt the other party.
You have the right to be respected and your character not to be attacked and similarly not to attack or disrespect the other party.
You have the right to ask for a break at anytime
You have the right to end the mediation. Remember this process is completely voluntary
You have the right to have a private discussion with the mediator (called caucus) at which point the mediator will offer the other party a similar opportunity.
You have the right to privacy.
You have the right to consult with your lawyer at any point