People who are considering mediation for dispute resolution often wonder how this collaborative process actually works. While the proceedings are conducted in an informal atmosphere and the process is legally non-binding, an experienced Boston mediator will conduct it in meticulous stages. This helps ensure that everything goes smoothly and efficiently to the advantage of all parties involved.
Here are the different stages or steps that will be a part of your mediation process. With the help of a skillful Boston mediation attorney, you may be able to complete all the steps in one meeting itself.
Planning with the Boston Mediator
Before the mediation process begins, the mediator will help both parties choose a meeting location and venue as well as identify the people from both sides who will participate in it. You have the option to bring your attorney, which can be present during the entire process and advise you as required.
Your Boston mediator will inform you in advance about the documents that they may want you to bring to the mediation room. Depending on the situation, they may require you to provide a mediation statement ahead of time. This is a position statement that will list your expectations and demands from the other party to the dispute.
The mediator will introduce the participants and will describe how the mediation will proceed and what the ground rules are. Thereafter, both parties will have an individual opportunity to share their version of the facts of the case. When you are presenting your opening remarks, no one will interrupt you.
It is possible that sometimes one or both parties to the dispute may not only focus on facts but also give a vent to their emotions. As long as everything is said in a calm and respectful manner, sharing feelings frankly is not really a bad thing during mediation. It can help both sides see things from the viewpoint of the other party, and increases the chances of dispute resolution.
Joint Discussion and Caucuses
A joint discussion will commence after the opening remarks. Both parties as well as the Boston mediation attorney will be free to talk, ask questions, and seek clarifications from each other. This will enable the disputant parties to better understand each other’s concerns, expectations, and goals.
If an impasse occurs at any point during the discussion (if one party does not budge from their stance or refuses to give any concession), your mediator will sense the potential stalemate and intervene in a thoughtful manner to help both sides to move forward.
Sometimes the atmosphere may get emotionally heated up or one party may start losing their calm demeanor. In this situation, your mediator may send both parties to separate rooms temporarily for a private meeting or caucus.
Negotiation and Closure
The final step in the mediation process will be to include the central issues or interests of each party and formulate a proposed resolution. The negotiations may go back and forth, and the mediator will continue to direct the negotiations by either shuttling between the parties separately or in the common mediation room itself.
After the proposals and counter-proposals are negotiated, both parties may find common ground. Your Boston mediator will then write down the main provisions and request both sides to sign the mediation agreement.
Bring Your Case to a Leading Boston Mediator
Anna Shapiro, Esq. is a well-known and respected mediation specialist, providing professional mediation services along with her legal team in Massachusetts and South Florida. Call us at 617.765.1040 to book a free consultation or write to us online.