What is Mediation all about?
Mediation can be a lot better than going to court.
As a mediation service, OUr Advocate aims to assist in the resolution of your dispute by enabling honest and open discussion at a meeting between you and the other person in the presence of one of our Mediators.
Our aim is for you and the other person to understand and explore the issues which have led to the dispute and together seek an outcome which will meet the interests of both of you.
It is not about one person winning and the other losing. Rather, it is about you and the other person together discovering a way forward that you can both live with.
You will not be given legal advice or told what to do.
During mediation, you and the other person will remain in control of the outcome to your dispute. You will be encouraged to reach your own decision, with the support of our Mediator.
Your mediation will be conducted in accordance with the Practice Standards for Mediators operating under the National Mediator Accreditation System.
What are the benefits of Mediation?
Many disputes need to be resolved by the conduct of legal proceedings before a court or tribunal.
Such proceedings can be slow, costly, worrying, and take up a lot of time and effort for those involved. In the end, the judge may or may not agree with your case.
While not all mediations are successful, mediation may nonetheless give you an opportunity to avoid legal proceedings so that:
- Expense is minimised
- There could be a quick end to the dispute
- Worry and anxiety can be reduced
- Time and inconvenience can be saved
- Uncertainty about the outcome can be resolved (because that is decided by those in dispute)
- Solutions can be more innovative and helpful than orders made by a judge, and
- You can focus on other issues in your life.
Does Mediation always work?
The short answer to this question is “no”.
Mediation does not always work for any number of reasons which might only unfold during the course of the Mediation.
Mediation is but one way of trying to resolve disputes and so other ways of dispute resolution may be more suitable. Sometimes, even a court or tribunal hearing might be necessary or preferred.
Further, the usual process which we use for conducting a Mediation might not be suitable, in which event an alternative Mediator or Mediation Service using a different process may need to be engaged.
Mediation of a dispute is like trying to solve a complex, mega jigsaw puzzle. It can be a bit overwhelming at the start and quite impossible to solve after a while.
And in trying mediation to resolve your dispute, we at Our Advocate certainly cannot guarantee a successful outcome, let alone promise any result.
However, in giving the jigsaw puzzle a go, and with a bit of help from us in putting all the pieces together, you just never know:
YOUR DISPUTE COULD SOON BE OVER!
What disputes can be mediated?
Our Advocate can mediate any dispute relating to businesses and not for profit organisations, in particular.
However, other types of disputes involving various domestic issues can also be mediated.
Our mediation service can typically handle the following areas of dispute:
- Insurance claims
- Unfair dismissal
- Wills and estates
- Commercial and general litigation
- Property including tenancy, strata, residential land lease communities and retirement villages
What is the usual process for Mediation?
Our usual process is intended to directly empower you and the other person to resolve your own dispute with the support of our Mediator.
- You and the other person to the dispute will both engage Our Advocate as Mediator by entering into an Agreement to Mediate
- They will prepare for mediation by reading the material which has been submitted by you and the other person
- Sometimes, where lawyers are involved and the dispute is complex, then the Mediator may convene an informal conference to agree on the process for mediation, the production of further documents, any special needs and the like.
- Opening of Mediation:
- There is a joint meeting at the outset where the Mediator will introduce everyone and explain the purpose of the mediation and the roles of each person
- Guidelines for the conduct of the mediation will be explained by the Mediator
- You and the other person will be invited to make opening comments
- From the comments made by you and the other person, the Mediator will assist you both to identify and agree upon the key issues in dispute
- You and the other person will be encouraged to explore fully each issue by responding to questions, as well as talking about your perspectives, interests, feelings and opinions
- The joint meeting ends and you and the other person will then meet separately with the Mediator for the purpose of canvassing possible options for resolving your dispute, with those meetings to be private and confidential
- During these private discussions, the other person will wait outside the mediation room
- Everything said in these private discussions will be totally confidential and nothing revealed to the Mediator will be disclosed by him to the other person, unless express prior permission has been given
- After completion of private discussions, the Mediator will convene another joint meeting with you and the other person
- Each of you will be given an opportunity to raise your respective options for resolution of the dispute and you can then begin to negotiate an outcome with each other in the Mediator’s presence
- With the Mediator’s assistance, additional options may be generated and negotiation facilitated, hopefully to discover an outcome that meets the interests of both of you and that both can live with
Further private discussions:
- If need be, further private discussions can be held between the Mediator and each of you should there be any unresolved issues and to explore any further options
Agreement and conclusion:
- If agreement has been reached during the mediation, then you and the other person (or your lawyers) will write down the agreement for signing
- Further steps which may be needed to finalise and implement the agreement can be discussed and agreed
- If no agreement has been reached, then the mediation will end with each of you to take such further action as you may wish, without breaching the confidentiality of the whole mediation process.
How much does Mediation cost?
Our Advocate has fixed fees, depending upon the type and complexity of the dispute, for either a half day mediation (being up to 4 hours) or a full day mediation (being up to 8 hours).
You will therefore know what you will be paying, up front and with no surprises.
For any significant preparation time (including any preliminary conference), and for any time in excess of either a half day or a full day, such additional time is charged at an hourly rate. However, any such extra fee will not be an estimate but rather a fixed fee, disclosed and agreed up front.
Full fees can be advised to you upon enquiry and will be included in the Mediation Agreement for signing by you and the other person to the dispute before any work is undertaken.
Fees are shared between the parties and are payable in full prior to the commencement of the Mediation.
You will find that the fees of Our Advocate are very competitive indeed.