By: Dr. Justin Wood, Th.d, CJME
The amount of sessions or time needed depends on several factors including the complexity of the issues involved in your case, the level of animosity among the parties, and the willingness of the parties to reach an agreement. The majority of disputes will resolve in one or two sessions, while some disputes can take several sessions to resolve. Unfortunately; other disputes may not completely settle and move to a partial settlement or move forward to arbitration or litigation.
If the parties come to the table prepared, this shortens delays significantly. Bringing all relevant information and being open to considering various settlement options helps to shorten the mediation time. Mediation is not a discovery process and you do not have to turn over materials but many times these documents can improve the speed and overall productivity. If all parties are flexible and willing to negotiate in good faith, mediation can be a very successful approach to resolving all types of disputes.
Most often, mediation starts with the parties together in the same room so the mediator can set the agenda and get everyone on the same page. The parties may at some point or early on split up into a caucus where the parties remain in separate rooms while the mediator travels back and forth to discuss the issues at hand. This will lengthen the mediation time and often cause an additional mediation session but may prove to be more beneficial.
At PhloxADR, we set our mediations on a flat fee schedule with 2/hr, 4/hr, 6/hr or 8/hr sessions, to allow the parties to workout issues more fully and not worry about hourly charges. We also bring or have supplied drinks and snacks, where on longer sessions, we break or have food brought in for the parties.
In some cases, after the first session, a proposed settlement is proffered and the two parties need additional time to research and have internal discussions or discuss options with a consultant (realtor, attorney, broker, insurance agent, etc). They can then schedule another session to revise and/or finalize the settlement agreement.
Each mediation is unique and an experienced mediator can move the issues closer to resolution in a timely manner. A pre-mediation discussion with your mediator can help you know what you may need to bring and he/she may can direct you on how to stay focused.
Please contact us for a consultation to discuss how mediation can help you resolve your dispute.