To set the process up for success, parties (and their counsel, if applicable) should be sure to take steps to prepare in advance. Below are the key factors to consider and prepare before your initial intake meeting.
If the parties are represented by counsel, it is helpful to have mediation memos prepared and exchanged in advance of the mediation. The purpose of the memo is to set out relevant background facts, the legal issues and the parties’ analysis and argument about the legal issue. An effective mediation memo also explains your goals and interests in resolving the dispute, including what you perceive the other party’s goals and interests to be. The memo should address any concerns you have about what might stand in the way of settlement and should set out a proposal for resolving the dispute.
The mediation will proceed as planned by the mediator and counsel or the parties. In most cases, the mediation starts with a joint conference and then breaks into separate sessions. Often times the parties remain in a joint session to share information and contribute to a resolution. Other times, it is helpful to break out into separate sessions so that the parties can share sensitive information with the mediator, create a plan to continue the negotiation, brainstorm settlement proposals or simply analyze the case.
If you have any concerns regarding the potential for abuse or an imbalance of power between the parties which may have an effect on a party’s ability to speak freely in a joint session, please bring this to my attention right away. We can structure a mediation with this in mind, keeping parties separate to allow for each party’s safety and a free exchange of information.
Please contact Victoria Frias to schedule a mediation appointment with Oren Weinberg Mediator Services. Contact Victoria by phone at 647-494-0113 ext. 104 or by email. An email will be sent to counsel or the self-represented parties with my mediation agreement as well as an intake form.