Mediations can take place in person, telephonically, or by video conference; however, all parties and the mediator must agree with the arrangements. Mediations usually take one day, and are scheduled for a time and location mutually agreeable to the parties. During the mediation, all parties may be represented by an attorney or represent themselves.
Before the mediation begins, the mediator will request information related to the case. The mediator may ask for a summary or history of the dispute, arbitration pleadings (if available), or other documents that help tell the story of the dispute.
At the mediation, the mediator may begin with a joint session, which is a meeting where all parties are in attendance. During this meeting, the mediator may use this time to explain how the mediation process will proceed, remind parties of their duty of confidentiality in the mediation process, and ask the parties to present the issues in dispute to the mediator and the opposing side.
As the mediation process continues, and depending on the type of case and parties' needs, the mediator may use separate caucuses, which are private meetings with one party at a time. The mediator and the party will candidly discuss settlement expectations, and the mediator can help parties see the strengths and weaknesses of the case.
Through a series of separate caucuses, the mediator will facilitate the exchange of settlement offers, and help parties reach common ground.