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Positive Results Mediation -
The Process


Whether you’re settling a family, business, or civil dispute, several aspects of any mediation are typically the same.

The first step in the process is for both parties to agree to come to the table in good faith. This step can be initiated by reaching an agreement to mediate.

Different strategies are then used by the mediator to help the parties reach an agreement. While the mediator is talking to the parties, he or she may also speak to both sides individually. After the parties have agreed on their interests, the mediator helps them develop win-win solutions. This step is usually followed by the drafting of a settlement agreement.

It can involve some or all of the following steps:


1. Planning

Before the mediation begins, a request may be made of the parties to fill out and submit paperwork pertinent to the mediation. They will then discuss when and where to meet.


2. Mediator's Introduction.

The mediator introduces themselves, highlights their achievements and experience, and provides a brief on the topic to be discussed. The mediator will explain the steps in the process for the day and the ground rules for ┬ámediation. This allows all parties to have trust in the mediator’s expertise and helps everyone be on the same page.

3. Opening Remarks

After the mediator’s introduction, both sides have the opportunity to discuss the dispute without being interrupted.


4. Joint Discussion

Once each side gives its opening remarks, the disputants can then ask questions to better understand the parties’ concerns. Mediators often repeat what they’ve heard for clarification and to make sure everyone is on the same page. If the two parties can’t agree on the path forward, the mediator tries to find solutions.

In both civil and family disputes, having a place to clear the air can help reduce tension among the parties.

5. Caucuses

Sometimes, the mediator will split the two parties into smaller groups so that they can discuss in private. They have assured confidentiality during the entire process.  The guarantee of confidentiality encourages disputants to share their concerns more openly. It also helps the parties gather their thoughts and bring their case forward with more transparency.


6. Negotiation

After the parties have identified their core interests, the mediator can start formulating proposals and ideas that can meet these needs. They can then lead the negotiation in the same room or with the parties in separate rooms when needed.

Stephen Goldberg, a Northwestern University law professor, said that asking the mediator for advice can help you draft a proposal that’s more advantageous to both parties.

As the parties try to reach a consensus, the mediator will draft a draft agreement. If they can’t reach an agreement, the mediator will then talk about their non-negotiables and try to resolve the issue that can be agreed upon and may schedule another meeting to revisit those items not agreed upon.

Getting Started

For more information on our mediation services, we encourage you to contact us for a thorough discussion on your options.

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