Mediation services provide a neutral, confidential environment in which employees can discuss workplace issues. It helps to put the problems into perspective and to resolve them. It also fosters a problem-solving approach and reduces the need for hostile litigation.
The key to successful mediation is careful preparation. Take time to intentionally consider your interests and needs and prepare to be flexible in finding ways they can be satisfied.
Unlike litigation that takes months or years to complete, mediation typically achieves a resolution in a matter of hours. This saves time and money for both parties, as well as allowing the parties to avoid future costs of litigation.
The cost of mediation depends on the type of case and how complex it is. It also depends on whether the mediation is court-ordered or voluntary. Court-ordered mediation occurs in cases that are already in court and are usually facilitated by the court clerk or by appointed mediators.
Voluntary mediation, on the other hand, is conducted outside of the court system and involves parties who choose their own mediators. In some instances, it may even be initiated before a lawsuit is filed.
When choosing a mediator, it is important to consider the experience and skill of the mediator. Many mediators work on a retainer basis, which requires an upfront payment for their services. They will then draw from this retainer when they are preparing for or conducting a session with the parties.
When you participate in mediation as a lawyer, you need to understand the basics of confidentiality. This is important because it allows participants to freely discuss their positions and options in a safe environment. It also means that what they say at mediation cannot be used against them in court proceedings.
Mediation confidentiality is a legal privilege that can only be waived by all of the parties in the case. It applies to all communications made during mediation, including caucuses with the mediator and individual party meetings. It can even apply to pre-mediation correspondence between parties or a participant and the mediator.
There are some exceptions to this rule, such as disclosure of child abuse or threats of harm to others. These exceptions are generally outlined in the agreements between mediation participants and the mediator. Likewise, some national laws explicitly protect the confidentiality of mediation proceedings against outside parties. These laws include the Bulgarian ADR Act (2011) and the 2011 Croatian Mediation Law.
Unlike a trial, where the parties are given a limited amount of time to present their arguments and evidence, mediation discussions are typically held in private. This allows parties to disclose more information without fear of discovery in court. This can help both sides find a mutually satisfactory solution.
The duration of a mediation can range from a few hours to a full day, depending on the complexity of the issues and the number of parties involved. Depending on the circumstances, it may be necessary to hold additional meetings with the mediator or the other parties.
The process of mediation is ideal for cases involving a continuing relationship, such as neighbors, divorcing parents, supervisors and employees, or business partners. While it can be difficult to overcome differences, it’s often faster and less expensive than a trial. It also reduces tension and hostility, whereas trials can increase those feelings. Moreover, the participants of a mediated case are generally more satisfied with the terms of their settlements.
Unlike litigation, mediation is typically less expensive than trial and can be settled more quickly. It also provides a more collaborative, problem-solving approach to disputes. It can also preserve relationships that may otherwise be damaged by years of litigation.
During mediation sessions, parties can submit evidence in support of their positions. However, they should prepare the submissions thoroughly before mediation. This will ensure that their submissions are complete and persuasive. They should also consider the other side’s perspective and try to make concessions where possible.
They should be prepared to explain their position in a clear, concise manner and avoid using tactics borrowed from litigation. In addition, they should consider how their presentation will be perceived by the mediator and other participants. Similarly, they should be aware that the information they provide at mediation is confidential and will not be disclosed to others, including the judge or arbitrator who might hear their case. This is one of the most valuable aspects of the mediation process.