Common myths about mediation

Q: Isn’t mediation for people who have a weak case?

A: The potential for success is high. Mediation provides an opportunity for cases to be looked at in detail and considered with greater care than usual. Face to face meetings provide the opportunity to clarify positions and understand other points of view; to explore creative and imaginative solutions that may not have been considered previously. It gives parties the opportunity to rebuild trust and re-establish a working relationship.

Q: Why go to mediation? – we have already tried negotiating and there is no point in further discussion.

A: The key component of mediation is the introduction of an independent neutral third party to facilitate the discussion, which has usually not been tried. A mediator who is completely detached from the problem, its emotions and pressures, can manage the process is an impartial way and focus on options for mutual gain, enabling results which were not
achievable outside the mediation. The process also provides an opportunity to rebuild trust and establish good working relationships.

Q: Isn’t mediation just about compromise and meeting half way?

A: Most settlements are creative solutions and do not just represent a simple splitting of differences. A variety of methods are used in mediation to break deadlock and often the solution is not something that either party had considered prior to the process. There is no limit to what can be discussed, unlike in more formal legal settings where feelings, emotions, trust and rebuilding relationships are often of little significance.

Q: Will mediation prejudice my legal rights?

A: No. Mediation can be helpful to reduce the number of issues in dispute even where no solution is reached. Parties remain in control of what is revealed to others throughout the process and the whole mediation process is confidential and conducted on a ‘without prejudice’ basis. Mediation offers an increased chance of settlement and for this reason is usually encouraged by the court. An agreement can be made binding at the end of the process if all parties wish to sign a formal settlement.

Q: What happens if I cancel?

1) In the event that a mediation appointment is cancelled by any of the participants, a charge will be made to all participants, as follows:
  a) More than 24 hours in advance of the appointment – 50% of mediation fees;
  b) Less than 24 hours in advance of the appointment – 100% of mediation fees and any venue costs incurred by Global Mediation.

2) No charge will be made if an appointment is postponed or rescheduled to an agreed alternative date.