Preparing for Mediation

This document is designed to assist parties and their counsel prepare for the mediation session. Counsel, please direct your clients to this page or print this page and forward to your clients.

Agreement: Everyone should read the Mediation Agreement as soon as possible. If there are any concerns or questions they should be raised as soon as possible. An original copy of the Mediation Agreement will be signed at the start of the mediation session and photocopied counterparts will be available to everyone wishing a copy.

During a mediation, I expect that each party and its counsel will be equally committed to working in a similar manner and in good faith in an attempt to solve that problem. I shall remind the parties and their counsel of this at the commencement of the mediation session.

Confidentiality: In anticipation of the mediation session it is understood that the confidentiality and without prejudice provisions of the Mediation Agreement will apply so as to cover all preparatory communications.

Parties Attending: The parties should notify each other, with a copy to me, of the names of the persons who will probably be present at the mediation. These details need not be regarded as inflexible, but it is desirable for the parties and for me to know who is likely to be at the session. For the mediation to be successful, it is very important that individuals who are authorized to negotiate and to make binding decisions on behalf of the parties be present at the mediation.

Preliminary Session: I will normally facilitate a preliminary meeting or pre-mediation conference call involving legal counsel and myself (as well as any other parties wishing to participate). I will arrange the call and the agenda may include: (a) overview of issues and the mediation process; (b) time, location and logistics; (c) whether I will need to do any pre-mediation on site inspections or interviews; (d) whether any experts or consultants can assist the process; (e) any legal incapacities; (f) need for translator or other special arrangements; (g) possible conflicts of interests or apprehension of bias; (h) such other matters as anyone may wish to discuss.

Process: The session will begin at 9:30 AM, unless otherwise agreed. At the commencement of the mediation I shall make an opening statement outlining the mediation process. Thereafter I would like each party, or their counsel, to make a short presentation outlining their perspective on the dispute and their sense of the barriers preventing settlement. From these presentations we will draw up an agenda, identifying the issues we will need to talk about. The length and scope of each party's initial presentation may vary in particular mediations.

Location: The premises needed for the mediation are (i) a boardroom or meeting room large enough to accommodate all persons attending, and (ii) a separate room for the representatives of each party in the reasonably near vicinity of the meeting room. Frequently a solicitor's office is able to provide these facilities. Alternatively, arrangements can be made in a neutral facility. If you have not already done so, please let me know your preference in this regard.