In its simplest form mediation is facilitated negotiation between dissenting parties. This process involves a third party neutral, a mediator, who encourages productive discourse among the participants by providing analysis, reason and persuasion. The process is usually non-binding, confidential and the parties control the ultimate outcome. The mediator will not render a decision but will communicate the weaknesses, limitations and risks to both sides in an effort to reach a mutually agreeable settlement.
Each mediator has his or her own style and the most effective mediators alter their approach to fit the unique needs and personalities of a given dispute. At ARM, our neutrals offer more than just a facilitated negotiation. These are intensely focused sessions with the objective of resolving complex matters in the most efficient and expeditious manner possible. Our neutrals are trained to drill down on the issues, identify hidden interests and analyze the risks and limitations for all sides. In order to make the most out of a given session, ARM mediators begin their work several weeks in advance with a pre-mediation phone call.
Pre-mediation phone calls are typically between the mediator and counsel with the goal of assessing the posture of the parties; identifying the obstacles to the session, evaluating the dynamics and often filling in the blanks. It is during the pre-mediation phone call that the mediator begins to shape the process to meet the needs of your case. When the process is tailored to the specific matter at hand it increases the chances for settlement and all sides come to the table better prepared.
ARM neutrals also undertake intense preparation. They do more than just read briefs. They utilize tools like lexis nexis to assist them with thorough research on current legal issues, case law and business aspects. ARM neutrals want to know more about what’s going on in the mediation than anyone else in the case. They want to hit the ground running on the day of the mediation with as much information as possible, both factually and legally.
In the event that your case does not settle during the first session, ARM mediators practice diligent, comprehensive follow-up. Our mediators make sure that the parties understand why the case didn’t settle and they set forth a game plan for moving forward. Whether it’s via telephone or second session, ARM mediators will actively be engaged in the matter until it settles or until every conceivable option has been explored.