In interest-based mediation, the mediator can provide information to the parties but should not provide advice, recommendations or make decisions on behalf of the parties. Instead the mediator assists the parties by facilitating discussions between the parties so they can make their own decisions and decide their own outcomes towards resolution and agreement.
The outcome of the mediation and the resolution of the dispute is dependent upon the willingness of the parties to the resolve the dispute. The outcome may be a Mediated Agreement by the parties or the gaining of new information and insight around the dispute. Additional information may help the disputing parties make more informed decisions later on; resolving it outside mediation or with an additional mediation.
The mediation process unfolds as follows:
- All parties agree to mediate.
- Pre-mediation interviews are scheduled and conducted with each party, separately. The purpose of pre-mediation meetings is to discuss the situation and gain insight into each party’s perception of the situation, the issues, their interests, and what each party wants as possible outcomes.
- Mediation is scheduled with all parties upon completion of all pre-mediation meetings. Mediation may take place in a neutral location (office, boardroom, meeting room) or a suitable place approved by all parties, or virtually, on line.
- Mediation takes place. A mediation takes on average 3 – 5 hours, depending upon the dispute and willingness of the parties to come to a resolution and outcome. At times, an additional mediation may be required depending upon the complexity of the dispute.
- If the parties reach an agreed upon resolution, JRB Mediations will prepare a Mediated Agreement stating the terms and conditions created and agreed upon by all parties.
- All parties review and either sign the Agreement, at which point it then becomes a binding contract, or they may both agree to have their lawyers review it, and draft it into a legalese.
Even if the parties are unable to reach agreement, mediation provides the parties with an opportunity to better understand the issues and interests in the dispute and the perspective of each party.
Any conflict has two or more disputing parties. Mediation is a voluntary process. So it is important that each party agrees to mediate.
If you have no legal representative for your dispute and are wondering how to have the other party agree to mediation, contact Judy R Balombin at JRB Mediations for further information. Judy provide you with information on how you can recommend mediation to the other party and may provide a letter recommending mediation that can be sent to the other party.
When seeking the services of a Mediator:
- Connect with the mediator to discuss your situation.
- Ensure the mediator is a designated Qualified Mediator with relevant training and experience.
- Ensure you and the other party are comfortable with the mediator you are wanting to hire.
- Request a quote from the mediator, if necessary.
- Both parties sign a contract to mediate and provide a retainer to the mediator.
- Then the mediation process begins.
See “What is the Process of a Mediation? regarding the the steps involved in the overall process.
You can be represented by a person of your choice, including a lawyer, but that is not required.
Interest-based mediation is the most common form of mediation practised. It is also referred to as “facilitative mediation,” “understanding mediation,” and “assisted negotiation.”
The mediator’s role in this process is to guide the process and to:
- encourage parties to listen actively,
- ensure that all parties have a fair opportunity to express themselves,
- help the parties to be clear about their underlying interests (hopes, desires, wants, fears, etc.),
- meet separately, if necessary, with each side (caucus) during mediation, if it appears that it will help the parties to make progress, and
- ask open ended questions to bring exploration and discussion of the issues and identify and clarify interests and assumptions.
During this process, the mediator will not offer an opinion or make decisions for any party and will respect each party’s autonomy to reach its own agreement that suits its unique circumstances.
Most disputes may be resolved using mediation. Resolution is dependent upon the parties being willing to try to resolve the dispute and agreeing to have a third neutral party mediate the dispute.