The mediation process is more formal than the negotiation process but less formal than litigation. The mediation process includes three distinct phases: prior, during, and after mediation. Within these stages, there are steps that the Mediator will take to make sure the mediation process progresses smoothly and productively. However, the mediation process can be adjusted to suit all parties.
First Free Consultation
Intake, Assessment and Diagnosis
During this stage, you and other parties (separately) will get the chance to give her detailed information about your issues, your needs, the impact the dispute has had on you, and your desired outcome. She will also read all legal and other documents relevant to the conflicts and may conduct any additional research if required.
This step usually takes up to two hours per party.
Stage 1 - Defining the Issues
Here’s where you’ll be made aware of everything you need to expect during the process, and also what mediation is, mediation guidelines, and the mediator’s role.
Parties’ Opening Statements:
Your opening statement is an opportunity to explain the issues, your needs, the impact it has had on you, and the outcome you’d like to achieve. Although you’ve already discussed it during the assessment session, it’s essential that you make your statements again when other parties are present. The other parties will have an equal opportunity to explain the issues, their needs, the impact the dispute has had on them, and the outcome they’d like to achieve.
Creating the Agenda:
Mediation places a lot more control in your hands, so we will create discussion topics and prioritise the order of the discussion, ready for the next step.
Stage 2 - Exploration
Stage 3 - Resolving the Issues
Mediator will help you move through each item on the agenda and begin to generate options. You might even begin to see these options during the exploration stage, which means finding a solution even quicker.
At the end of this session, you should be able to find some satisfactory options suitable for all parties.
It’s essential to find workable solutions. That’s why both you and the other party will attend private sessions with mediator. During private sessions, mediator will check to see how things are progressing and ask you some challenging “what if” and reality test questions so you can see your options from all angles.
Agreements and Closure
This is the stage where we evaluate and refine the solutions and form a plan of action. You may or may not reach an agreement, or you may find some roadblocks that you didn’t know where there. But most importantly, you know you have tried and if you decide to move to litigation, you will gain a refined clarity of the issues, your trial preparations are now streamlined, once again saving you money on litigation costs.
If agreement or agreements are reached, a mediator will summarise the agreement, confirm everything with all parties and close the session.
Once your meditation session is complete, mediator will follow up with you and all the parties involved to see how the resolution has progressed and whether you faced some challenges along the way.