Typical Steps in Mediation
- Commencement Request for Mediation - This is the first step of the mediation process. When one party expresses an interest in mediation, JUPITICE will contact the other parties to determine their interest, the parties may submit all or some of the issues in dispute to mediation, and may mediate selected substantive or procedural issues. In some cases, both parties can also approach JUPITICE. Later, JUPITICE proceed with the following process.
- Finding a Mediator - After conferring with the parties, JUPITICE will send a list of proposed mediators from its roster of experienced mediators. The mediators on the list may have subject-matter expertise or other experience, consistent with the parties' needs in the case. Once the mediator has been selected, the parties to the dispute and the mediator will proceed to the next step.
- Gathering Information - Before the mediation begins, the mediator will request information related to the case. The mediator will ask for a summary or history of the dispute, arbitration pleadings (if available), or other documents that help tell the story of the dispute.
- Meeting for the First Time - Once party have consulted with mediators and agreed on the best fit, party will have the first official meeting where they discuss items like confidentiality, ground rules for the time together, scheduling, and payment. Some mediators may take some time to explain any laws applicable to the circumstances, as well as the many issues party will be discussing.
- Private caucuses - As the mediation process continues, and depending on the type of case and parties' needs, the mediator will use separate caucuses, which are private meetings with one party at a time. The mediator and the party will candidly discuss settlement expectations, and the mediator can help parties see the strengths and weaknesses of the case.
- Joint Discussions - The mediator might encourage the parties to respond directly to the opening statements, depending on the participants’ receptivity, in an attempt to further define the issues.
- Joint Negotiation - The mediator might bring the parties back together to negotiate directly, but this is unusual. The mediator usually doesn’t bring the parties back together until a settlement is reached or the time allotted for the mediation ends.
- Signing the Final Agreement - If the parties reach an agreement, the mediator will likely put its main provisions in writing and ask each side to sign the written summary of the agreement. If the parties didn’t reach an agreement, the mediator will help the parties determine whether it would be fruitful to meet again later or continue negotiations.