print version

Mediation can be described as an assisted negotiation, which offers an alternative to lengthy litigation and legal fees. Mediation offers the facility to allow each person to view the problem from another skin. Mediation allows the person to find the solution rather than waiting for a court hearing and an imposed solution.

Mediation generally begins with a joint session to set an agenda, define the issues and ascertain the position and/or concerns of the parties. This allows the parties to attack the resolution process either on an issue-by-issue or group-by-group basis.

The joint session is then followed by a separate meeting between the mediator and each individual party or their counsel. This allows each side to explain and enlarge upon their position and mediation goals in confidence. It also gives the mediator an opportunity to ask questions which may well serve to create doubt in an advocate's mind over the validity of a particular position.

The Mediator is the facilitator who assists the parties in reaching an agreement that is acceptable to them. There are no rules of evidence or set procedures for the presentation of facts or positions. Before mediation commences, the parties and the mediator agree upon the procedures that will be followed. It is the party's proceeding; they can fashion it in any way that makes sense to them and the mediator. This absence of formality provides for open discussion of the issues and allows the free interchange of ideas. Thus, it becomes easier to determine the interests of the parties and to fashion a solution that satisfies those interests.

The Mediator:

The mediator is an invaluable neutral resource to all participants in the mediation process. Lawyers, insurance professionals and their clients use the knowledge and skills of a neutral mediator to plan negotiation strategies and develop options for settlement. The mediator keeps the process focused and moving forward.