Stages of the Mediation Process
Stage 1: Introduction/Opening Statement
Stage 2: Issue Identification/Uninterrupted Time
Stage 3: The Exchange/Developing Understanding
Stage 4: Exploring Options/Building the Agreement
Stage 5: Writing the Agreement
Stage 6: Closing Statement
During the first meeting, the mediator will explain what mediation entails, and how the mediation process works. If a mediation agreement has not already been signed with the mediator, he will see that it is signed at this time.
Mediation may include two important elements: joint meetings and caucus meetings.
During the joint meetings, each of the parties attends, along with the mediator, to present his version of the facts and explore various means for settling the dispute.
Caucus meetings, on the other hand, are meetings attended by the mediator alone with each party, in turn:
· to discuss his perception of the dispute;
· to examine, under cover of confidentiality, certain specific elements of the matter;
· to receive a proposal from one party to be transmitted to the other.
Since the parties retain control over the mediation process, recourse to a caucus meeting must be accepted by each of the parties.
In both the joint sessions and the caucus meetings, the mediator will highlight the facts that pertain to resolving the dispute and will explore various hypotheses that could lead to an agreement.
Successful mediation is often concluded with the signing of an agreement. This may take place at the end of mediation or after the parties have had the agreement examined by the legal advisor or any other party of their choosing.
Unless indicated otherwise in the agreement, it remains confidential.
Benefits of Mediation
· Informal – does not require “proof” and “evidence”
· Is more confidential
· Emotions and “objective” facts are both valuable data for resolution possibilities.
· Provides room for problem solving
· Allows for creative solutions
· Creates an atmosphere where all participants “gain” (not win/lose)