HOW DOES mEDIATION wORK?
Let us now look at what the mediator does in the process of mediation.
The normal format of a mediation involves the parties in dispute agreeing to meet with a nominated mediator in a neutral venue. Mediations begin with either a joint meeting or separate meetings whereby all parties involved meet with the mediator. The Mediator will begin the process by outlining the role of the mediator as a facilitator, the rights of the parties and the form which the process will take. Some mediations involve the parties meeting directly with each other in the opening session in the presence of the mediator but it doesn’t have to. All parties will be given equal time to discuss their side of the dispute, privately, with the mediator. The mediation process can be altered to suit different types of disputes and will give the parties an opportunity to discuss issues raised in the dispute and find areas of common interest. At the end of the process, areas of agreement will be incorporated into a formal agreement.
The basic steps of a Mediation Process
- Agreement to mediate will be signed in advance
- The process of the mediation will be explained by the mediator
- Individual or joint sessions will begin
- Solicitors or other advisors can attend if required
- If agreement is reached, it will be recorded and signed
The Mediated Agreement:
- will be drafted by the mediator,
- must have the full agreement of all parties,
- is best if dealt with in detail at the mediation while the parties are present,
- will be agreed and signed by the parties,
- will not be legally binding unless made so through a court process or being drafted into a contract by solicitors,
- can be as simple or complex as the parties need to effectively resolve the dispute,
- should be drafted in straight-forward terms,
- can include all that is important to the parties no-matter how unusual or minor.
The Mediation Process
At Murphy Mediation, Paul will explain to you the benefits of mediation as an alternative form of resolving disputes and conflict and explain the benefits of mediation to you. However, it is important to be aware that Mediation can operate as a sole method of resolving a dispute or it can work in conjunction with litigation. If you have already made contact with a legal representative, ask about mediation in order to see if it can be used as a method of resolving your dispute without going to court. Alternatively, if you find yourself in dispute or fear that a dispute is looming, consider mediation as the first step.
If mediation does not resolve your dispute, then you always have the option of contacting or going back to your legal representative and pursuing your dispute through the courts. Mediation as a first step does not preclude you from having your day in court, but it is very likely to save you time, stress and money whilst possibly maintaining relationships and leading to better settlements.
The Mediators Institute of Ireland website describes mediation as a way of resolving disputes in which the Mediator assists the parties to negotiate a settlement. It is a process of collaboration where nothing happens without the parties input and which is safe, respectful and voluntary.
Mediation is not a form of counselling and is not a substitute for legal advice.
It is, instead, a process whereby a Mediator, who is neutral at all times and independent of all parties assists those in dispute to arrive at an agreement.
Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process in which the mediator assists all parties involved in the dispute to work together in reaching an agreed settlement. A fundamental part of the mediation process is that the parties remain in control. The mediator will control the process of mediation but it is the participants in dispute who will control the outcome.
Mediation has proven to be a very successful solution to resolving disputes in a wide variety of areas. Disputes can arise in all walks of life and in all situations. Disputes in Agriculture and farms regarding succession, neighbours, boundaries and animals are commonplace. Disputes in construction, where contracts are involved, between contractors and subcontractors, tradespeople and home owners, all form a significant percentage of mediations that take place in Ireland.
Workplace disputes between employers and employees, between fellow directors, between business partners, and between fellow employees, disputes in the community, sports clubs and sportspeople, financial disputes between home owners and financial institutions, debt and non-payment related issues and insurance issues are more examples in which mediation can be the solution.
Disputes involving supply and delivery of defective goods and services, and disputes between landlords and tenants and between tenants, disputes involving the affairs of the elderly and so much more. These are all types of disputes which can be suitable for mediation.
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