As outlined in an earlier blog post, mediation can be quick and cost-saving process that is often effective to resolve your dispute. Listed below are the basic steps that many mediations follow, although circumstances of each case may differ slightly.
Upon receipt of an inquiry by one or more parties, Niagara Mediation will reach out to you for a free consultation (usually by phone).
Background information is collected through conversation with each party individually. The concerns and issues are reviewed to determine if mediation is appropriate.
An Agreement-to-Mediate signed by all parties to the mediation, this agreement outlines expectations and obligations, including fees, for each party participating in the mediation process.
A lawyer from Niagara Mediation facilitates dialogue through a mediation session that is centered around issues and interests of importance to the parties. We help the parties find common ground, frame resolution options, and negotiate the terms of settlement.
Draft and Sign Settlement Agreement.
We draft a Settlement Agreement (contract) that reflects the terms identified during the Mediation. The Agreement outlines the actions that each party commits to, and what the parties agree to will happen if they don’t.
To bring closure the mediation process, relevant materials are packaged and transferred to the parties, and the parties are encouraged to review the contract with their legal representatives. If the contract is deemed to be agreeable, the Mediator will meet with one party to sign three copies of the Agreement. The Mediator will then consult with the other party (or parties) for signing before (s)he distributes a copy signed by all parties to all involved.
As mediation is voluntary, any of the parties (including the Mediator) may end the mediation at any time. Niagara Mediation can assist with identifying and/or facilitating other ways to resolve the dispute.