Ensuring Your Interests are Represented During Mediation

Learn how to ensure your interests are represented during a mediation session with an outside mediator. Understand what role they play and how to take advantage of their presence.

Ensuring Your Interests are Represented During Mediation

Mediation is a constructive process aimed at resolving disputes amicably, without resorting to potentially lengthy and costly litigation. While the environment is less formal than a courtroom, it's essential to be adequately prepared and ensure your interests are aptly represented. This involves understanding the nuances of your case, articulating your concerns clearly, and being open to compromise where necessary. To navigate these waters effectively and guarantee your rights and interests are at the forefront, engaging settlement agreement solicitors can be crucial. These professionals bring expertise and experience, ensuring that the terms discussed and agreed upon are fair, legally sound, and in line with your objectives.

Negotiators often don't feel ready for mediation. The mere fact that your “negotiation” is now officially a “dispute” is enough to make anyone approach the next stage with trepidation. But with the help of an outside mediator, you can ensure the best possible offer for your company. Rather than acting as a judge who decides who “wins” or “loses”, a mediator helps the parties reach an agreement.

The mediator must disclose any information that could reasonably lead a party to question their impartiality. They must also ensure that any advertising or other type of marketing carried out on their behalf is truthful. If they help prepare a settlement agreement and if the lawyer for either party is not present, they should recommend that each unrepresented party have an attorney review the agreement independently before executing it. The mediator must also strive to keep abreast of developments within their jurisdiction in relation to what constitutes the practice of law. The mediator must not use confidential information acquired during mediation for personal gain or for others, or to adversely affect the interests of others.

In addition, mediator notes, party submissions, and other documents containing confidential or confidential information should be stored in a reasonably secure place and may be destroyed 90 days after the mediation has been completed or sooner if all parties request or consent. It is the mediator's responsibility to prepare before the mediation session by reviewing any statements or documents submitted by the parties. They must ensure that the parties understand that their role is that of a neutral intermediary, not that of a representative or lawyer for either party. The mediator must also know and avoid the possibility of bias based on the background, personal attributes or conduct of the parties during the session, or on any pre-existing knowledge or opinion about the merits of the dispute being mediated. It is crucial that the mediator and all parties clearly understand confidentiality before mediation begins. A mediator helps parties reach a resolution by facilitating communication, promoting understanding, helping them identify and explore the issues, interests, and possible bases of an agreement and, in some matters, helping parties evaluate the likely outcome in court or arbitration if they cannot reach an agreement through mediation. Remember that avoiding saying unwanted things, by having the mediator say them, simply transfers resentment from the other side of the lawyer to the mediator.

And remember that the purpose of mediation is not to please the mediator, but to ensure the best possible offer for you. Mediators who have been judges must know the state ethical standards or canons of judicial conduct that regulate or guide their efforts as mediators. If they perceive that one of the parties cannot give informed consent to participation in the process or to the terms of the agreement due, for example, to a physical or mental disability, then they should not continue until they are satisfied that such informed consent has been obtained from them or their duly authorized representative.