Online Mediation

Online Mediation

At Independent Mediators, we have all the facilities to offer mediation on live screen or by telephone conference call. Our team of mediators are continuing to work and take new appointments, and we have already conducted mediations in both formats. We had one mediation on Monday (23 March 2020) and three mediations on Tuesday (24 March 2020) on live screens with more to follow later this week and over the coming weeks, including one cross-border mediation involving multiple parties across several time zones. By the end of this week, we expect to have completed 6 mediations online.

Although unfamiliar to some, these systems work in a straightforward way. We are currently using Zoom as our preferred platform (others are available) particularly because it offers the facility of secure separate breakout rooms for separate parties. In the case of the cross border mediation later this week, where a national firewall prevents parties in one jurisdiction from using Zoom, we are working with parties on two separate platforms. We are confident that the processes can give the opportunity for successful mediation.

We have also developed an Online Mediation Protocol for the conduct of mediation online which we are happy to discuss with you.

We are absolutely confident that we can continue to make mediation work for you in these difficult times.

We are happy to answer any questions you or your clients may have.

How does it work - Online Mediation

This is how it operates. As with our normal practice we start the process once you have chosen IM to provide your mediator. All parties are sent a link and get online to Zoom. You do not have to pay a fee to join.

Once you accept the invitation to join the mediation you and your clients are placed in a virtual waiting room and once we are all together the mediator will explain the process as usual and make sure that everyone understands how the virtual mediation will work. After the preliminary introductions, the mediator will place each party into its own virtual room. The mediator can then speak to each party separately or with the parties together. Instead of actual ‘shuffle diplomacy’ between actual rooms, the mediator does the same virtually by switching online from room to room. When the mediator is not with you, just as with the usual mediation you and your clients speak privately together. Everyone can see all the people in any one room and they the mediator. If you have clients in different locations, they have their own screen but are placed into the same ‘virtual’ room. You decide who shall be in your room. You can send the mediator a message to come and see you and the mediator can put you together with other parties if you wish to have conversations with them.

Documents can be brought up and shown on screen where necessary.

Once settlement is reached and reduced to writing it can be sent to each party in turn for signature, scanning and finalisation.

We are delighted with how well this process works and we offer it to you and your clients as a means in these difficult and strange times of continuing to discharge our respective professional obligations to assist parties in dispute to an efficient and cost effective resolution if that is what they wish.

Please click on the link below for our guide to Online Mediation and best practices

Online Mediation – How to use and some guidelines and ground rules

Please click on the link below to see step-by-step how to join a zoom meeting

How to use Zoom – Users brief notes

 

How does it work - Telephone Mediation

We provide the name (or aliases if preferred) and phone number of each attendee to the telephone conferencing company.

  • IM require the contact phone number of every attendee for the mediation. These are passed on to telephone conferencing provider. The operator will then call each number on the morning of the mediation and join all attendees to the call.
  • There is no limit to the number of people that can be on the call.
  • There is no time limit on the calls.
  • Calls are not recorded although this can be arranged if required.
  • An operator can be available throughout the day to assist if required. The mediator, who would be the admin for the call, can call on the operator to assist throughout.
  • Separate private conversations can be arranged. So, for example, each party can be split in separate virtual breakout rooms. The mediator can move between the breakout rooms and all parties be brought back into the main room as often as required during the day. This is all carried by the operator under instruction from the mediator.
  • Can be set up with very little notice.
  • There is a cost associated as this is a service provided by a third party. The cost is very reasonable and we pass this on at cost with no mark-up. Please ask for details.

Please click on the link below for a step-by-step guide to the telephone conference

Telephone Conferencing – Mediation guide (online)

Independent Mediators awarded Who's Who Legal Mediation Firm of the Year 2019

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