In the normal event a mediation agreement will have been signed and a date for the mediation will have been set by me after consultation with parties or their lawyers.
After the mediation date has been set preliminary matters will be attended to. These may include:
- Each party following a request by me providing a summary of that party’s issues or claims.
- Each party disclosing any documents judged by me to be relevant to what the parties or their lawyers have to say.
- Each party communicating with me by telephone or in person (as required by me) to discuss the mediation process and the issues considered by that party to be important.
- The mediation process is confidential and subject to exceptions as set out in the Mediation Agreement nothing that is disclosed at a mediation may be revealed outside the mediation room. This is to encourage full and frank discussion and disclosure in the expectation that this will facilitate a resolution of the matter.
- After an introduction by me I will ask each party to declare their interests, what is important to them in relation to the dispute or matter in issue and if they are willing to do so at that stage to disclose what they would like to achieve or to come out with as a result of the mediation.
- After a summary by me and feedback to those present regarding the matters that have been brought into focus I will with the help of the parties set an agenda so that we ensure all relevant matters will be covered.
- The agenda will then be explored and I will facilitate discussion around the agenda and the creation of options for resolution of issues.
- It is likely that each party will have one or more private sessions either alone with their lawyer (if any) and/or with me where the interests and needs of that party can be considered in a private way. Confidentiality applies to these private sessions and nothing that occurs in a private session is brought back into the joint negotiation session without the approval of the party concerned.
- Negotiations take place usually in a joint session but not necessarily as negotiations sometimes take place when the parties are still in separate rooms.
- If a resolution is reached the terms of the resolution are recorded in writing either in a full agreement or in a heads of agreement and this is signed by the parties and their lawyers. This is a binding agreement which can be enforced by either party and if necessary by court action, but it is otherwise confidential and privileged except to the extent agreed to the contrary by the parties.