Frequently asked questions

What is mediation?

Mediation can be a very effective way for people or businesses to resolve conflicts without resorting to litigating their differences in court. Conflicts surrounding debt, in particular, can arise out of a business conflict, a personal injury or a personal relationship breakdown. People can quickly find that the court system is agonisingly slow, stressful, extraordinarily expensive, and often leaves everyone feeling disappointed with the outcome.

Compared to litigation, mediation takes a fraction of the time, expense and energy. It often allows participants to obtain a win-win resolution that might never be available in the formal setting of a courtroom.

How much does it cost and who pays for it?

Generally each party in a dispute pays equal amounts for the mediation. My Mediation charges by the hour or an agreed success fee could be discussed. In a mediation process parties are encouraged to seek advice from their lawyer or accountant during the mediation as required, the parties will pay for these expenses separately. This avoids the potential of having to pay the legal fees of an adversary.

How long will the process take?

Litigation can take many months or even years. Mediation, in contrast, can allow parties in some matters to settle their differences in a matter of weeks or even days.

What is the mediation process like?

Unlike a courtroom setting, mediation is informal and is not governed by rules of evidence or procedure. Unlike a judge or jury, a mediator does not make decisions about who is right, or wrong. The parties with the Mediator  determine the outcome of their matter.

Effective mediators are particularly skilled at identifying the specific areas of conflict and will fully explore the interests of the people in the dispute which process does assist the parties to come to a win-win solution.

How does the process begin?

Before accepting a case, My Mediation will have preliminary discussions with the parties and possibly their lawyers and accountants to plan for the mediation.

If My Mediation agrees to take on the matter for mediation under our Terms of Mediation, then each party will provide a one page “Statement” to the Mediator. This document will be your factual truth of the matter without ANY inconsistencies or a liability being part of the Statement. If during the course of the mediation it comes to the attention of the mediator that any part of your Statement of Truth is not the position, or is a lie, then the mediation will end.

At the first meeting the mediator will inform the parties how the matter will be progressed, which is usually the mediator will meet with each party separately, then when a possible outcome needs to be discussed the Mediator could invite both parties to meet together, or continue to review and discuss the purpose of a possible settlement.

Do I really have to meet the person I am having a dispute with?

For people in conflict, the prospect of being at the same table with an adversary can be daunting. My Mediation offers the skills to build rapport and get the communication flowing by following a very constructive process so participants don’t feel victimised or abused. Yes, it can start out feeling very challenging to take this process on, but our experience is that most people leave a successful mediation with a great sense of relief.

Ultimately your mediator will respect your requests, so please indicate if you would prefer individual or join meetings at the outset of the process.

What if I don’t like the way things are proceeding?

Mediation is voluntary, so if you really don’t think a successful agreement can be reached, you will be free to terminate the mediation and pursue other avenues for resolution. An agreement necessarily has to be agreed to by all participants, only then does the resolution become binding.

Mediation is also confidential and privileged. That means that communications during a mediation cannot be used in evidence if the case ends up in court unless participants decide to waive that confidentiality. This is so that everyone participating can feel comfortable sharing ideas or concerns, brainstorming, or as we say in New Zealand “FishBowling” and working towards a healthy resolution.

Who attends a mediation?

Generally, each party will meet with the Mediator first, then when and if required  together  with the mediator.  In regards to the Settlement, your Lawyer and accountant could be required to provide you advice  as part of the overall process, however they do not attend the actual mediation session. This helps to reduce costs and, in our experience, focus on the really important issues aimed at achieving a win-win solution for both parties.

Compared to litigation, mediation takes a fraction of the time, expense and energy. It often allows participants to obtain a win-win resolution that might never be available in the formal setting of a courtroom.