How does a mediation proceed?

1. The parties need to agree to hold a mediation and to agree upon the Mediator to be used.

2. A date and venue for the mediation has to be agreed between the Mediator and all of the parties.

3. During the initial telephone conversation with the Mediator a brief outline of the procedure on the day is given if needed and the identities and positions of the people attending are advised.

4. Often, but not always, "position statements" are provided by each party outlining briefly the areas of dispute, the areas of agreement and any offers already made to settle.

5. A Mediation Agreement is signed in advance by the parties and the Mediator.

6. On the day of the mediation the Mediator will meet all of the participants and put them at their ease. First name terms is usually the order of the day.

7. Often, but not always, a joint meeting is held with all of the parties at which everyone will be given an opportunity to have their say.

8. Thereafter, the parties usually go into closed sessions, in separate rooms with the Mediator, who then moves between rooms as the discussions/ negotiations continue.

9. Anything said to the Mediator in a closed session is not disclosed to the other parties without the permission of the party concerned.

10. If considered appropriate, the Mediator may hold other joint meetings with all of the parties present.

11. As the issues surrounding the dispute are aired, a settlement begins to emerge and eventually agreement is reached in the vast majority of cases.


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