What is mediation?
- Mediation is a time-tested, cost-effective and often time-saving alternative dispute resolution procedure. This means it is an internationally recognized and well-accepted means for resolving disputes with a great potential to save a party to a dispute money and time.;
- Mediation is a party-driven process. Parties choose the mediator rather than having an arbiter assigned, parties are not compelled to accept a legal decision, rather it is up to them collectively to attempt to resolve their dispute;
- Mediation is less formal and adversarial in nature than litigation. Mediations take place in informal settings like offices and board rooms, not in courts, no dais’, and overall less structure than traditional litigation;
- Mediation is confidential and private. Grievances, it is expected, will not be aired publicly as they may be in litigation and parties have greater freedom to craft solutions particularly suited to their own interests knowing concessions, compromise or movement will not be used against them in future proceedings.
What is the Mediation Process?
- The mediation process can differ greatly depending on the rules parties subscribe to and the particularities of the case. Procedures are provided in great detail in the ACDR Domestic and International Rules for reference. However, generally…
- ACDR Mediation begins when a party submits a dispute to be mediated administered under the ACDR using either the ACDR Domestic or International Rules;
- Once submitted, the ACDR will contact all parties to determine their availability to mediate and inquire about when the mediation should take place; qualifications and nationality of the mediator, financial considerations and any other logistical concerns the parties may have;
- The ACDR will submit lists of mediators to the parties to choose from should they not have already agreed to one;
- Parties choose a mutually acceptable mediator or the ACDR will appoint one and the scheduling process begins based on the parties and the mediator’s availability;
- Mediators may require a pre-mediation conference call or meeting with the parties collectively or individually. Exchanges of information may be requested or evidence may be requested by the mediator prior to the actual mediation;
- The mediation conference itself, which can be conducted online using the ACDR e-mediation platform or in person, will require all necessary parties to be present. The mediator will begin with an introduction, allow the parties an opportunity to present their side of the dispute and then work with the parties either collectively or in separate private sessions called “caucuses” to help them gain a greater understanding of other’s positions, identify issues and explore the possibility of resolving the dispute;
- Should the parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement the mediator , together with the parties’ and their representatives if any, will draft a settlement agreement that may be filed in a court of law;
- Should the parties be unable to settle their dispute the mediator will conclude the mediation session and the parties may proceed how they see fit;
- Please see the ACDR Domestic and International Rules for more detail
What do I Need for Mediation?
- First and foremost mediation may be an appropriate dispute resolution process when there exists any type of dispute or disagreement;
- Legal representation is not necessary though highly encouraged to help identify issues, solutions and assist the mediator in drafting a mutually acceptable agreement. An agreement may be legally binding.
- Documents and evidence may be useful to help the parties gain understanding of their positions, though not required;
- Please see the ACDR Fee Schedule for information on the costs of mediation.
Where do Mediations Take Place?
- The ACDR’s state-of-the-art facilities provide ample space for a mediation to take place.;
- Alternatively, mediations can be conducted at a mutually acceptable venue;
- The ACDR also possesses the ability to conduct mediations online through their e-mediation web platform. For more information on e-mediation please click here.
How Long Does Mediation Take?
- The ACDR Domestic and International Rules provide for the mediation to be conducted from start to finish within 90 days though there is no guarantee this time frame will be realized. Much is dependent on the complexity of the dispute and the interests at stake;
- Mediation sessions themselves can last as little as a few minutes and as long as a few weeks. The ACDR’s case administration, mediators and Rules aim to provide a quick, cost-effective process that will allow the parties to either resolve their dispute or move on to other forms of dispute resolution.