How Mediation Works
Freedom of choice is basic to the mediation process.
The Three Steps:
Step 1 - We Talk: You and I chat
on email, over the phone or in person. If we think that
mediation is advisable, then I contact the other parties.
Step 2 - We Meet: Interviews, in
person and in private, are conducted with everyone involved,
usually for about an hour each, and typically in the same place
as will be used for the mediation. We use serviced office space
in downtown Toronto or another location that is convenient for
you. Confidentiality and security is assured, along with other
administrative and personal requirements.
meeting is called the Case Development, and it’s an opportunity
for you to explain your experiences, needs and hopes. The
mediation process will also be explained to you, and the role of
the mediator as third-party neutral. We discuss your goals.
Everything is confidential. You begin to generate options and
come to know the power and freedom of your choices.
Step 3 - We Mediate: We all
meet together, for three or more hours, for the Mediation. It’s
hard work, but amazingly productive. Options proliferate. Having
each person get to this place, voluntarily, and in respect and
recognition; we have already come a long way toward transforming
the problem and creating a lasting resolution. A legally-binding
Memorandum of Agreement is the realization of this.
A second meeting is not unusual. Sometimes it’s just
necessary to have time to consider the implications, and then
later to meet briefly to finalize. In other instances, for
example when the parties are continuing in a close relationship,
a follow-up is scheduled for an appropriate future date, when
the terms of the agreement have been tested and can be adjusted.
It is not necessary and not usually advisable to bring
lawyers, social workers, other professionals, or witnesses to
your Case Development or the Mediation, although it’s possible.
They must agree to remain in a secondary role, advising you, but
not speaking for you. It is sometimes desirable for the parties
to take a draft copy of the Memorandum of Agreement to their
lawyers, but it is rarely essential to reaching a completely
satisfactory outcome. And in all serious conflicts, including
those where litigation cannot be averted, mediation is a very
productive and cost-saving first step.
What does it cost? You will receive an estimate before
you make any commitment and if the parties decide prior to the
Case Developments that they do not wish to participate, there is
no charge. Billing is per hour and all expenses are included.
It’s no wonder that mediation is an increasingly popular
alternative to the legal system.