During this one-hour consultation, I will ask for an overview of the issues surrounding the dispute, discuss how mediation can help reach a resolution, and help determine whether or not mediation is the right approach for your situation. If all parties agree that mediation is appropriate, we will discuss next steps in moving forward with the mediation process, sign an “agreement to mediate”, and schedule a pre-mediation conference.
During the pre-mediation conference I meet with the parties (either individually, or as a group) to discuss basic information about the mediation process - including, how to prepare for the mediation conference, setting mutual goals and expectations, what the parties want to accomplish through mediation, and mediation best practices.
The Mediation Conference is where the real work of mediation takes place. The parties will have an opportunity to explain their side of the dispute, discuss individual and collective interests, discuss possible solutions, negotiate options, confront potential problems or roadblocks in implementing solutions, and reach mutual decisions regarding resolution. During the mediation conference I will meet with the parties together and individually in "caucuses" and guide the process and facilitate open, constructive communication.
Depending on the progress and efficiency of the negotiations, the mediation conference may be held as 1 five-hour session or can be adjourned and reconvened in multiple sessions totaling up to five-hours of mediation time.