Tailored and flexible. Mediation is a flexible, informal process that can be tailored to the needs of the parties. Sessions usually begin by bringing both parties together and allowing each to tell their story. The mediator will work with the parties jointly while that is conducive to reaching a solution. Mostly, after those introductory sessions, the mediation continues with the parties in separate rooms and the mediator going back and forth between them. This helps to discuss issues parties are not comfortable disclosing in front of each other.

Strictly voluntary and strictly confidential. Mediation is a strictly voluntary process where confidentiality is key – the mediator shall keep anything disclosed to him or her by one party from the other unless specifically instructed to pass on certain information from one party to another. The fact of mediation being conducted is also confidential, unless parties choose to disclose it for public image purposes. Mediators cannot be called as witnesses in any subsequent court proceedings.

Assisted negotiations. The aim of any mediation is to foster a guided conversation between the clients so that they will feel confortable to share enough information that they can work toward a mutually beneficial solution. Mediation can be a place to brainstorm new ideas or to negotiate traditionally, with each party modifying their offers as they gain more information. How the process unfolds is really up to the parties.

Role of the mediator. Our mediators do not provide legal advice in their mediator roles and will not hand down a decision, unless parties agree beforehand that an adjudicative mediation is what they want. Our mediators will facilitate communication, look at causes, but mostly focus on the solution. They will ask clarifying and tough questions to help you risk assess the most important aspects of the issue. Our mediators will also encourage you to be realistic in your assessment of the situation and will keep you focussed on finding a creative solution that would be agreeable to everyone involved. You will retain complete control of any agreement you reach because you know your situation and the viability of different options on the table better that any third party ever could.