What is Mediation? Why would we Mediate?
As a Lawyer who regularly appears in the Court, it is apparent that there has been a push towards referrals of matters to Mediation. Such a shift has caused a number of people to ask what are the benefits of mediation and what can they expect at a mediation?
Mediation is a process whereby an opportunity is offered to the parties to reach a resolution to their dispute in a safe and confidential environment.
A Mediator is appointed to assist the parties to reach a resolution in their matter. The Mediator is to be impartial and objective. Their role is not to give legal advice.
As a party to a mediation you are entitled to have a Lawyer present and they can speak on your behalf if you chose to do so.
There are various types of mediations and the facts of each matter determines which vehicle is the most appropriate in the circumstances.
Face to Face Mediation
The most common form of mediation takes place face to face. The parties are seated in a room along with the Mediator. Each party is seated to face each other, and in a way which encourages visual contact with the Mediator.
In this situation, the parties are asked to give a brief opening statement whereby the main issues and their concerns are ventilated to the Mediator and to the other party.
Once each party has had an opportunity to give their opening statement, the Mediator will transition into exploration.
During this phase the parties have the opportunities to discuss their concerns, feelings, and emotions regarding the dispute.
It is during this phase that the parties may be able to create a plan to move forward. This plan can also be further assisted during a process called Option Generation.
The benefits of mediation are as follows
- Mediation is significantly quicker than litigation.
- Mediation is far less costly than litigation.
- If the parties reach a resolution, orders are required to formalise the agreement. The turn around time is aproximately 2-6 weeks from the date of lodgement
The alternate option to face to face mediation is Shuttle Mediation. During shuttle mediation, parties are in separate rooms and the Mediator facilitates discussions. This allows the parties to avoid direct contact.
This type of mediation is extremely effective in matters where there are concerns about domestic violence, or when the dispute is fresh and the parties emotions and anxieties are at their peak.
With the courts push towards such a measure, we are hopeful that the backlog of matters in the Court will be cleared. This will give matters requiring urgent attention, a more direct access to justice.
We are pleased to offer mediation services at Kalpaxis Legal. As an Accredited Mediator, I take much joy in being able to resolve disputes quickly. This allows the parties to achieve a resolution to their matters in a safe and pragmatic way.
If you have a matter where you would like to attend a Mediation, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our firm.