What is mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process where by a specialist and impartial third person assists the parties to reach an amicable settlement in a dispute, taking into account all parties needs and reaching an agreement that is acceptable to all sides.
Throughout the process, each party is offered the opportunity to present their case. The mediator’s role isn’t to offer advice or make decisions but rather to assist the parties in exploring the inherent strengths and weaknesses in each side’s case and identify possible solutions, assisting to reach a settlement agreement. The mediator neither decides which side is right or wrong nor has the authority to impose a settlement. The mediator is skilled in unlocking negotiations that have become deadlocked and in keeping everyone focused on finding a solution.
Why consider mediation? What are the advantages of mediation?
How much will mediation cost?
Commercial mediation costs $5000 + GST per day or $500 + GST per hour Family mediation starts from $220 per hour +GST and is based on the nature of the case. It’s assessed on a case by case basis.
How long does mediation take?
Each mediation is different and depends on a number of factors:
If the issues are not complex and the process goes smoothly, a full day session may be enough or 2 to 3 mediation sessions lasting only a few hours may suffice.
What cases are suitable for mediation and what are not?
Not every case may be suitable for mediation, I assess every case in an initial consultation and decide on a course of action. In a family dispute, where one or more of the parties are in a severely disturbed emotional or psychological state, such that they cannot represent themselves or focus on the needs of their children, is not suitable for mediation.
How is mediation different from arbitration and litigation?
How can the parties be sure that mediation will produce a fair result?
The work of the mediator is not to make a decision on behalf of the parties. The mediator assists the parties in reaching possible solutions to the dispute, enabling the parties to find the path to dispute resolution that is mutually beneficial. Unless both parties completely agree, there will be no final resolution and nobody can force them to sign any agreement.
In a mediation session, the mediator will help the parties to:
If I choose mediation, will I still need to appoint a lawyer?
You don’t need a lawyer to participate in mediation, however before an agreement is reached in mediation, some parties may seek independent legal advice. Though I am a qualified lawyer, as rule during mediation I refrain from offering legal advice to avoid a conflict of interest.
Should you need legal advice, it is suggested you make arrangements in advance. Mediation is an independent third party and remains impartial and neutral. No legal advice should be expected from a mediator.
What do I need to prepare before mediation?
Do I have to go to mediation?
No- the mediation process is entirely voluntary, should the dispute be subject to Court proceedings, the Court will take into account all relevant circumstances, including whether a party has unreasonably refused to take part in mediation.
A person must not disclose a mediation communication (anything said and done in mediation) except under specified circumstances, with the consent of all parties and the mediator or where there are reasonable grounds to believe the disclosure is necessary to prevent danger of injure to a person or of serious harm to the well being of a child or with the leave of the court.
Mediation is considered to be a private and confidential process, firstly the process must remain confidential at all times in that no third party is to be privy to the proceedings other than the parties and mediator. Secondly, under no circumstance should any matters discussed in private sessions be disclosed to the other party by the mediator without permission.