Mediation is an alternate dispute resolution process where a neutral third party, usually a retired judge or attorney, helps disputants reach a mutually satisfying settlement. Unlike the trial court, mediation is a voluntary process that does not force parties to settle.
A mediator will identify the central issues in your dispute and seek to understand them. He or she will also help you develop alternatives to a negotiated agreement that may be acceptable to both sides. Throughout the mediation, you and the other disputants are expected to communicate with each other in good faith. If you and the other disputant cannot agree on a solution, the mediation will end. The mediator may either declare an impasse as to some or all of the issues, or he or she may continue the process, or adjourn for the day.
The mediator will typically meet with you privately at the start of the mediation to discern the underlying facts and issues. These meetings are called caucuses and they are confidential. The mediator can reveal what he or she learns from your caucuses only when you consent to allow him or her to do so. During caucuses, the mediator may raise doubts about the validity of your positions and provide information to you on how your position might be viewed should your dispute be litigated in court.
As part of a mediation, the mediator will often set up groups or working groups to help lubricate the negotiation wheel. These groups often meet over lunch, and one of the groups Vendrell set up during his mediation with East Timor and Afghanistan he called the “lunch group.” The purpose of these groups is to brainstorm, plant seeds to see what might grow, and test support for a particular stance.
Occasionally, the mediator will take the lead in the negotiations. When he does, he or she will make sure that the other disputants understand the benefits of the position he or she is taking. The mediator will also point out the costs and uncertainty of continuing to litigate the case, namely the expense, time, and stress involved in a trial with a judge or jury.
Mediators are often hired because of their ability to understand both sides of a dispute, the complexity of the issue, and how the dispute can be resolved fairly. Successful mediators are confident, self-assured, and able to articulate their own views of the case. In addition, they have a keen understanding of securities laws and are able to grasp the case’s facts quickly. They are also well-prepared, and their ability to work with the parties in a frank and honest manner is important. They are also able to assess the risks and rewards of a settlement in terms of the company and its shareholders. They can also recognize the strengths and weaknesses of each side’s arguments. Finally, they are able to balance the interests of the parties and come up with an appropriate solution for both sides. independent mediators