whether you are thinking about the possibility of mediating a dispute or preparing to take your shot at seizing the mediation opportunity, it can be helpful to know what you are getting yourself into.

marc addresses some frequently asked questions (faqs) to help you do just that...

how can i get the mediator on my side?

mediators are netural + impartial. they cannot impose an outcome. the role of the mediator is to help generate options, challenge positions + develop an understanding of how underlying interests at the table can practically be addressed. if you focus on getting the mediator "on your side" rather than working with others involved in your dispute, you risk failing to make the most out of the mediation opportunity.

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can i represent myself at mediation?

absolutely. i have a great deal of experience mediating with self-represented parties.

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is mediating online as good as mediating in-person?

no. it is better.

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who pays for mediation?

the most common approach is for parties to equally split the cost of mediation unless they are able to negotiate different arrangements in the course of mediating. however, this is not the only way that payment arrangements can be made.

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is mediation mandatory?

in this day + age, from a practical perspective, the answer is yes in the majority of cases. sometimes the law, an agreement or governing document requires that a dispute be submitted to mediation before it proceeds to a decision maker. even when that is not the case, parties are often encouraged to try to work collaboratively to address their conflict.

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does arbitrating make you a better mediator?

absolutely! i was not sure that it would when i started getting involved in decision making but it really has.

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what are the benefits of mediating online?

the biggest is value for your time + money.

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should i prepare for mediation?

yes. to get the most out of the mediation opportunity, you should absolutely prepare for mediation.

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is a mediator a lawyer?

no. some mediators are trained as lawyers + many have law degrees (like i have a master of laws in dispute resolution) but the job of a lawyer + the job of a mediator are very different.

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what if we can't decide on a mediator?

first, consider why you are going to mediation. if an agreement or law requires it, there may be a mediator appointment mechanism in place to help. if you are mediating voluntarily + in good faith, you really should be able to agree on a mediator. if not, there are some options available to you.

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do i need to be vaccinated to mediate?

no. as we mediate online + physically distanced, your vaccination status is not a concern.

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do you still mediate in-person?

the ongoing uncertainty surrounding covid-19 prevents me from offering a set answer to this one, i am sorry to say. the pendulum has swung back + forth on what is appropriate throughout the course of the pandemic.

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how soon can i mediate?

i recommend a minium of two weeks from the time that parties involved in a conflict agree to take part in mediation until the mediation meeting. this offers time for preparation + to comfortably address what is needed to formally retain me.

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what if the other party doesn't show up?

my first inclination is to preach patience. i have had several mediations where a party has arrived a little bit late. while some consider it rude to be late, there can be factors beyond one's control (such as a tech issue) that create an issue.

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why can't you guarantee settlement?

the superficial answer to this question is that the regulations that i have volunteered to subject myself to in this unregulated field do not allow me to promise the resolution of any dispute through mediation. the more meaningful answer is that mediation is all about self-determination, so whether or not a mediation results in settlement is not my call.

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what is your mediation style?

let me first explain the question to anyone who is not sure what it means... if the adr lingo section of this site were expanded upon, it would likely include terms like "facilitative", "evaluative" + "transformational" in describing forms of mediation. these are terms used to describe the focus of the mediator in the mediation process + the type of role they play in it.

while i will expand upon these "styles" of mediation below, my answer to the question is that i have no set style.

i am flexible + adapt to the needs of my clients.

in my experience, it is next to impossible for anyone to know what "style" of mediation will best suit them throughout the process in advance. there may be benefits to certain approaches based on how the mediation plays out. as a result, this consideration in advance of a mediation is usually more theoretical than practical. i encourage reflecting through the style of mediation one identifies as their preference, as this can help clarify what they want to get out of the process.

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what do you mean settlement offers are confidential?

the purpose of settlement discussions can be confusing. in some cases, making an offer to settle can be important to secure your best chance of cost recovery if the dispute ultimately has to be determined by a third party decision maker. at mediation, settlement offers disappear if they are not accepted. i like to say they evaporate.

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can i get a transcript of the mediation?

no. mediation is a confidential process. what is stated during it should not be recorded, but for terms of settlement.

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