Online Mediation Protocol
With courts and tribunals offering a reduced service and litigation slowing down businesses and individuals risk dangerous delay. Online mediation is an opportunity to find solutions and to move forward. Key to the success of online mediation for parties to feel confident that the process will best serve their interests. This Protocol is designed to create confidence and clarity to this end.
Online Mediation can be as effective as a face to face session and deliver the same success rate. But, it requires effective preparation which is why we have developed protocols to support clients and their advisers
Pre-mediation no-obligation conversations with parties
Before the mediation, the parties, and, if they wish their lawyers, will have a confidential, private conversation with the mediator. In these conversations they can:
- Assess the suitability of the case for mediation generally and online mediation specifically;
- Explain how the process will work and get some experience of online interactions;
- Establish priorities for the mediation and what individuals want to achieve
Setting dates and times
Online mediations can be set up relatively quickly. Once the initial pre-mediation conversation is had with the lawyers and/or the parties, the mediator will provide an estimate of time required. It is suggested that the parties provide the mediator with dates and times to avoid. The mediator can then provide three alternative dates for the parties to agree to.
The mediator will send preparation papers to the parties by email. Key documents can also be agreed between the parties and their advisers and sent to the mediator 7 days prior to the mediation session. The mediation agreement will include confidentiality provisions stipulating against recording sessions.
The Mediation Session
The parties will be sent an electronic link to join the mediation session prior to the mediation. Parties will also be sent details of where to direct any technical questions.
On “arrival” into the online mediation “space”, parties will be allocated private “rooms” that the mediator will be able to enter with the agreement of the parties.
The parties will be able to have confidential discussions with the mediator. They will also be able to speak privately to each other or their advisers without the mediator present. They will be able to invite the mediator into the room when requested and the mediator will notify them on entering.
The mediator will manage Joint Sessions as they deem appropriate in the best interests of the parties. Joint Sessions may take place between:
- All the parties, their advisers and experts;
- The advisers on their own;
- The parties on their own;
- Experts on their own;
- Experts with advisers.
Any agreement reached can be drafted collaboratively and shared in the mediation session before finally agreed.