Initiating Mediation Services: A Step-by-Step Guide

Mediation is an informal and flexible conflict resolution process that can be initiated in accordance with an agreement between two parties. Learn how it works and follow these steps for a successful mediation process.

Initiating Mediation Services: A Step-by-Step Guide

Mediation is an informal and flexible conflict resolution process that can be initiated in accordance with an agreement between the parties. This agreement can be established before or after a legal dispute arises, and is generally part of a separate contract. The mediator's role is to guide the parties to their own resolution, helping them to define problems clearly, understand each other's position, and approach resolution. Mediation is non-binding, meaning that the parties always maintain control of the process and can choose to discontinue it at any time. The mediator will begin by having each party present their opening speech.

After this, they are free to ask questions with the goal of coming to a better understanding of the needs and concerns of each party. If emotions increase during a joint session, the mediator can divide the two parties into separate rooms for private meetings or assemblies. The promise of confidentiality may encourage contenders to share new information about their interests and concerns. Organizing meeting space is a key aspect of preparing for negotiation. Professor Guhan Subramanian has analyzed a real example of how the arrangement of seats can influence the success of a negotiator.

This debate took place at the 3-day executive education workshop for senior executives of the Negotiation Program at Harvard Law School. The Center has established a recommended contractual clause for the referral of future disputes under a contract to mediation under the WIPO Mediation Rules. After receiving the request for mediation, the Center will contact the parties (or their representatives) to begin discussions on the appointment of the mediator (unless the parties have already decided who will be the mediator). The mediator appointed under the WIPO Mediation Rules is competent to deal with all aspects of any dispute. Before the mediation process begins, the mediator helps the parties decide where they should meet and who should be present. All differences between mediation and arbitration stem from the fact that, in mediation, the parties retain responsibility and control of the dispute and do not transfer decision-making power to the mediator.

The WIPO Mediation Regulations contain detailed provisions also intended to preserve confidentiality in relation to the existence and outcome of mediation. The mediator will finalize the opening statement by informing the contenders that any settlement agreement developed during the session must be reviewed by the Department's Office of General Counsel (OGC), the acting Human Resources Manager and the Office's EEO Officer, before the parties sign it. There are two main ways in which mediators help parties to make their own decision, which correspond to two types or models of mediation that are practiced around the world. The Center has also established a recommended filing agreement for the referral of an existing dispute to mediation under the WIPO Mediation Rules. The mediator will then explain their role: to be an impartial facilitator, not an advocate or judge for either party, and to help both sides reach their own solutions. The mediator must enjoy trust from both parties, so it is crucial that both sides fully agree on their appointment.

If they decide to conduct their mediation in Geneva, WIPO will provide them with a free meeting room and retirement rooms (at no additional cost).By agreeing to submit a dispute to WIPO mediation, both parties adopt the WIPO Mediation Rules as part of their mediation agreement. The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the Center) will help them identify an appropriate mediator for their chosen model. FINRA mediators have experience in this field, so parties can select a mediator with knowledge in areas related to their dispute. Mediation is an effective way for parties to resolve disputes without having to go through lengthy court proceedings. By understanding how it works and following these steps, you can ensure that your mediation process runs smoothly.