Prior to mediation
After contacting BHA Mediation for the first time, we will begin by having an initial discussion with the referrer of the dispute regarding the background details of the issue. From there we will determine how best to proceed. In the case of a civil or commercial dispute, this will typically to proceed direct to mediation (following a review of any supporting information and documentation provided by each party). For workplace, employment, community and family matters we generally have a consultation/private discussion with each party. This can be done in person or by phone, and helps us get a better understanding of individual perspectives and ideal outcomes.
Upon arrival at your mediation your mediator will introduce themselves as well as all parties concerned. This will take place in a central room, and your mediator will outline the process in more detail and explain in kore detail about their role in the different sessions.
Signing the agreement to mediation
Your mediator will ensure that all parties have signed their own agreement to mediation, and this will be kept on file by the mediator. He/She will then recap certain salient points such as confidentiality and that all offers/discussions are made without prejudice.
Each party will then be asked, in turn, to make an opening statement. This gives each party an opportunity to describe the dispute from their own perspective.
Private (caucus) sessions
Following the opening statement and any further questions on the process for the day, your mediator will usher each party to their own room. The mediator will sit with each party in determine the key issues and interests of each party. These discussions will evolve during a series of private caucuses as the interests are prioritised and we work towards options for a resolution.
Now whilst it is not always possible to reach a final mutually agreeable decision through mediation, it is generally assumed that all parties are in attendance with the hope of finding a resolution! As a result of the private caucus discussions, various levels of negotiation will take place in order to come to a point where all parties are happy with the outcome.
Assuming the mediation is successful, in as much as all concerned are happy withe the determined outcome, the mediator will ask the parties to write up their agreement and sign it. At this point the new agreement becomes legally binding, and everyone leaves satisfied by the result.
Roughly 2-4 week after the mediaiton has taken place, we will check in with each party. This is to ensure the resolution is proving effective, and that all prties are keeping to the terms of the settlement agreement.