A Court or Tribunal may order you to attempt mediation in an attempt to resolve your dispute. Even if a Court or Tribunal has not ordered you to participate in mediation, there are considerable benefits in participating. Mediation can provide you with an efficient and cost effective means to address the issues in dispute in a safe and structured setting. It provides an opportunity for you to resolve your dispute without proceeding to a final hearing, which in some jurisdictions, can be at least 12 months away and will increase the legal costs involved in your dispute. Mediations can be a powerful forum for people to finally feel heard by the other side. It can be a very cathartic experience for those involved and it is very different to the litigious environment of the Court or Tribunal. There are also no restrictions in how many times parties can mediate and it is very common for two or three mediations to be undertaken before a final resolution is agreed upon.
When the Mediator undertakes the intake process, you will have an opportunity to raise any safety concerns that you may have. This may include the fact that you feel uncomfortable being in the same room as the other person involved in the dispute.
Where it is appropriate, the Mediation can take place by way of “Shuttle Mediation”, where you do not come in direct contact with the other person and you have a separate room to be in whilst mediation takes place.
In some circumstances, Mediations can also take place over the telephone and over Zoom.
The Mediator may ask for copies of Court documents or a “position paper” to be provided by the parties. These documents assist the Mediator in understanding the issues involved and the urgency regarding the resolution. It also provides an opportunity for the parties to reflect on their positions and to clearly state on what terms they wish to mediate and resolve the dispute.
The Mediator will often speak with the parties at the same time to describe the process and to reiterate what each party wants to discuss at Mediation. It is very common for the Mediator to then meet privately with each party to the mediation privately and to speak with them about what a satisfactory resolution may look like. The Mediator can facilitate offers of settlement and negotiation to the other side.
If you come to a resolution at Mediation, it often means that protracted and expensive Court proceedings are resolved. If you are represented by a lawyer at Mediation, your Lawyer can prepare Orders or Terms that make the agreement reached legally binding.
The Mediator does not represent you or the other person involved in the dispute. They are neutral and serve to facilitate the mediation process in a safe and constructive manner. They do not “decide” who is “wrong” or who is “right”.
If you have been asked to participate in Mediation or require the assistance of a mediator, please arrange a confidential and obligation free discussion with Lydia here.