The Mediation Agreement – the parties agree to mediate and agree to the mediator’s costs, confidentiality etc. The Agreement is often signed as we begin the mediation itself.
Agree how the mediator is to be briefed prior to the mediation, normally by providing the more important documents, including pleading documents filed in court or milestone letters, emails etc
Often I will request the lawyers get together with me on the phone about 4/6 weeks before we meet (a pre-mediation conference call), at which any outstanding or difficult procedural matters are worked through.
At the mediation meeting I will briefly introduce the mediation and then ask each of the parties to summarise their mediation position (mediation opening). Often lawyers will lead this part of the mediation and the parties will contribute in any way they are comfortable with in this opening phase.
We will distil the important topics that need discussion and introduce those. This is called the first joint session. This session may last some hours.
After the first joint session, the parties may well meet with me separately in order to discuss the issues that are on the table and any others that they feel need to be identified. This is called a private session and it is confidential to those taking part.
After the first private session, at which I try to get an idea of your real concerns and expectations, we will usually go back to joint session for further discussion to begin building possible settlement.
If you do agree, a handwritten agreement will be prepared with the important points noted.