Mediation

Mediation is a dynamic, structured, interactive process where a neutral third party assists disputing parties in resolving conflict through the use of specialized communication and negotiation techniques. All participants in mediation are encouraged to actively participate in the process.

What Mediation Is

Mediation is a purely voluntary process for resolving disputes by which an independent mediator assists the parties in reaching a mutually satisfactory settlement. Mediation is now a key form of what many call Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). The alternative being a decision imposed by a court.

A mediation session involves a discussion of the dispute by the parties, as opposed to the formal presentation of witnesses and evidence such as takes place in a trial. The session will normally be attended only by the mediator, the parties and their representatives.

 

The mediator has no power to render a decision or to force the parties to accept a settlement. The mediator's role is to assist the parties in their negotiations by identifying obstacles to settlement and developing strategies for overcoming them.

A mediation session is private and confidential. It is normally held in a private office or meeting room and increasingly online. No public record is made of the proceedings. If no settlement is reached any statements during the proceedings are inadmissible as evidence in any subsequent litigation.

It is estimated that around 80% of mediations achieve an agreement of some kind, and more than 90% of people who leave mediation express satisfaction with the mediation process.

Frequently Asked Questions

At any time you wish, irrespective of whether or not proceedings have been issued at court or at what stage the dispute or court proceedings may have reached.

No, there is nothing to lose by offering to mediate even if you believe you have a strong case. Few lawyers would advise their clients that they are certain to win a court case. Mediation is a 'without prejudice' procedure. Put simply, anything said within a mediation cannot be used later in court should the matter not be resolved.

McLean Stone has full Public Liability Insurance, a copy can be seen upon request.

All our mediators are fully qualified and accredited with current Civil Mediation Council standards. 

Usually both sides of the dispute pay the mediation fee in equal proportions and it is paid in advance of the mediation. In the case of internal disputes for a business or school, then the company or school will normal pay the cost. 

The fee is paid for the mediator to facilitate the mediation regardless of the outcome. The majority of cases do settle however, there can be no guarantee of success.

The mediation can be ended at any point, by either party or the mediator. If you are considering to end the mediation, its often advised to have a short consultation with the mediator before the decision is made.

The first time the parties usually meet with the mediator will be on the day. However, most parties will send through information to the mediator ahead of the mediation, in order for the mediator to be familiar with the case.

No legal advice will be given by the mediator. If you feel that you may need legal advice you should make your own arrangements beforehand. The mediator is an independent third party and must remain impartial and neutral and whilst you may have candid discussions with the mediator, no advice will be given. You are also free, during the mediation process, to seek legal advice at any point.

You may feel that your dispute is rather complex and that you would prefer legal advice throughout the mediation bearing in mind that the mediator cannot give any legal advice to the parties. You can certainly bring a legal representative with you to the mediation if necessary.

Mediation is not suitable for every case but it can still help to settle some of the issues in a dispute. All discussions during the mediation process are “without prejudice” – in other words, anything said in the mediation cannot be used later in court or another legal action.

Most judges will award the winning party the costs of litigation and if there has been a mediation it can be argued that the costs may be recoverable. Please note though, the cost rules are complicated and you should seek legal advice if you have any queries or concerns about this issue.

Courts encourage the use of mediation wherever appropriate and in certain cases can order some costs to be paid if a party has unreasonably refused to participate in mediation.

Once a date has been agreed, we will give you all the information you require in order to be prepared. It’s advisable that any information surrounding the case be sent to the mediator ahead of the mediation in order to familiarise himself/herself with your case. Both parties will be invited to do this.

Yes. Please inform the mediator and the other parties who will be attending with you. Anyone additional attending will be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement in order to be present.

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