What To Expect During Mediation
Mediation is a non-adversarial procedure in which a neutral, specially trained attorney/retired judge or justice, assists the parties to reach a settlement. The Mediator employs techniques which stimulate productive negotiations. Throughout, counsel and clients remain in complete control, and ultimately decide whether and how a case will be settled.
maps Mediator Panel undergoes extensive training and are highly skilled in accordance with maps Code of Conduct. No Mediator shall serve in any dispute in which there is a conflict of interest, unless there is full disclosure and agreement by all parties. Prior to accepting an appointment, the prospective Mediator shall disclose any circumstances likely to create a presumption of bias or interest in the outcome of the proceedings, or prevent a prompt meeting with the parties. In the event any party objects to such Mediator, a new Mediator will be appointed.
maps Case Management Staff
maps Case Managers have a combined decades worth of experience, having convened over 50,000 alternative dispute resolution matters ranging from two-party personal injury to multi-party class action. Your Case Manager will guide you, your staff, or outside professionals through the process.
Agreement of Parties
A Case Manager will contact the parties for agreement. By agreeing to mediate, parties agree to negotiate, in good faith, to attempt to settle their differences. Neither maps nor the Mediator has the power or authority to compel the parties to settle, or even to continue negotiating. Parties to a claim or dispute meet with an impartial person, the Mediator, to reach a mutually acceptable agreement.
Conduct of Mediation Sessions
The mediation session commences with a joint meeting at which the parties summarize their respective positions and highlight the key facts and issues.
Process IS Confidential and Privileged
Most States and those signatory to the Uniform Mediation Act recognize that in order to provoke open and frank settlement discussions, all communications and records made during, before, and/or after mediation are not subject to disclosure and may not be used as evidence in any judicial or administrative proceeding.
To protect the sanctity of the mediation parties, counsel and other participants are not required to testify and are not subject to process or subpoena during the session.
Additionally, the Mediator is not subject to subpoena and cannot be required to make disclosure through discovery or testimony at trial, except in very limited circumstances.
Confidentiality is a critical element of successful mediation. In order for the Mediator, attorneys and the clients to understand the central issues, the motivations, the pressure points and risks of litigation, the participants must be assured the discussions cannot and will not be disclosed to others so they can talk openly. If discussions with the Mediator are not confidential and privileged, the mediation process, the Mediator’s role and the potential for resolution are diminished.
The parties to a mediation will also typically sign an “Agreement to Mediate” that reinforces these statutory protections.
Not Acting as Legal Counsel or Expert
During the mediation and thereafter, neither maps nor the Mediator will act as legal counsel, advisor or legal representative for any of the parties; and neither maps nor the Mediator has a duty to assert, analyze or protect any legal right or obligation, including lien rights, statutes of limitation, or any other time limit or claim requirement. Nor will maps or the Mediator have the power or authority to compel a party to participate in mediation.
The mediation shall be terminated in any of the following circumstances: By a settlement agreement between the parties; by a declaration by the Mediator to the effect that, in his or her judgment, further efforts at mediation would likely prove futile; and/or by a declaration by any party that they wish to terminate the mediation.
The costs of the mediation includes basic administrative fee plus an hourly fee. In many cases, the parties agree to split the mediation costs, although it is not uncommon for one party to agree to pay all costs.