Mediation is a valuable tool in resolving conflicts
Self-Determination – The
simple principle of mediation is that both parties have the autonomy and feel empowered to make the decisions instead of giving up that power to a neutral third party, i.e. the Judge or jury. It is
most important that mediators not be looked as the “decision-maker” – the mediator is simply there to guide the conversation to help the parties themselves make the decision and feel comfortable with
is important that the mediator remain neutral and impartial during the mediation process. The mediator must disclose if there is a prior relationship with one person, or the attorney mediator,
incluidng if the mediator has given legal advice to one person prior to the mediation. If there is a potential conflict or either party feels uncomfortable with the mediator, then the mediator
should recuse themselves.
voluntary. Any party can leave the mediation at anytime. The parties are not forced to agree and do not have to agree to anything offered at the mediation. It is important that all parties
recognize that they are there because they want to be there and work through the dispute. Mediation also requires each party to give and take, recognizing that mediation is a
Confidentiality –There are
few rules governing mediation but confidentiality is a basic rule that applies to both attorney and non-attorney mediators. Some mediators choose to shred their files/notes after the mediation
to take this promise of confidentiality one step further. Nothing said during a mediation session can be disclosed in court. IF either party discloses something to the mediator but then
directs the mediator not to disclose the information to the opposing party, then the mediator must abide to the confidentiality.
Safety –Mediation is not
appropriate in all situations. If there is a temporary or final order of protection or allegations of (domestic) violence, then mediation should either cease immediately or not take place from the
onset. Some mediators will still conduct “virtual mediation” in these situations where the parties are no longer in the same room or building, via zoom. The mediator should make the call on whether
the imbalance of power is detrimental to the process. If either party discloses information of a crime, elderly or child abuse then the mediation will cease and the mediator will report the
claims as deemed appropriate.