What is Mediation?
Mediation is a process. Disputing parties meet with a neutral third person. Together they isolate the issues in order to develop options. Considering all the alternatives, the parties reach a consensual settlement that will accommodate everyone’s needs.
Our goal at Mediation by Montgomery is to resolve conflict and create communication. The cost of conflict can be measured in financial as well as non-financial and emotional terms. High costs are associated with legal processes but these are compounded by emotional tolls, loss of productivity, staff turnover, low morale, bad communication and a host of other phenomena related to poor conflict resolution. More and more companies recognize that their fiduciary duties include a consideration of the cost of conflict and include appropriate tools for dispute resolution in their company policy.
If all parties have already agreed to mediate, simply call us to discuss preferred dates and locations. If you desire our assistance in obtaining the agreement of others to mediate, call or send us the name, address and telephone number of the attorney or other representative of each party whose participation is necessary for a comprehensive resolution.
Prior to Mediation
The following issues should be addressed:
- It is recommended that the parties be represented by counsel at the mediation for productive negotiations to occur.
- It is essential that everyone whose decision is necessary for settlement participate in the mediation. Personal attendance is required unless there is agreement in advance among the parties that telephone participation can be accommodated.
- Information exchanged in advance of the mediation is encouraged to assist all parties in making realistic settlement decisions during the mediation.
- Submission of briefs is recommended. Parties who choose to submit briefs should prepare them so as not to exceed ten (10) typed pages, including exhibits. The mediator should receive the brief at least five (5) days in advance of the mediation.
Mr. Montgomery will meet privately with each party at the beginning of the mediation. Sometimes there is a joint session if agreed to by all parties. Please come prepared to summarize your position during mediation. You may utilize whatever presentation you believe most effective, including charts, audio-visual and oral presentations by counsel and principles. Bear in mind that the goal is not to prove a case but to clarify your views for decision makers among the parties.
Private confidential caucuses follow the sessions between the mediator and each party. In caucus you can discuss information which may assist in working toward a resolution but which you would prefer not to disclose in direct negotiations. The mediator will assist all parties in exploring the strengths and weaknesses of the case. The caucuses provide an excellent opportunity to assess realistic options for resolution without compromising any party’s negotiating posture.
Caucusing will generally continue until a settlement option has been developed which all sides feel is acceptable. At that point, the mediator will bring the parties back together and summarize the terms of the settlement agreement. The parties and mediator will then draft and execute a memorandum stating the key terms of the agreement.
If a resolution is not reached in the initial mediation session, the parties may authorize the mediator to conduct follow up activities. This may consist of telephone caucusing, further investigation or information exchange among the parties and/or mediator and/or an additional mediation session.
Be sure to browse the FAQ for more information!