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How Mediation Works

Freedom of choice is basic to the mediation process.

The Three Steps:

 

Step 1 - We Talk: You and I chat on email, over the phone or in person. If we think that mediation is advisable, then I contact the other parties.

Step 2 - We Meet: Interviews, in person and in private, are conducted with everyone involved, usually for about an hour each, and typically in the same place as will be used for the mediation. We use serviced office space in downtown Toronto or another location that is convenient for you. Confidentiality and security is assured, along with other administrative and personal requirements.

This meeting is called the Case Development, and it’s an opportunity for you to explain your experiences, needs and hopes. The mediation process will also be explained to you, and the role of the mediator as third-party neutral. We discuss your goals. Everything is confidential. You begin to generate options and come to know the power and freedom of your choices.

Step 3 - We Mediate: We all meet together, for three or more hours, for the Mediation. It’s hard work, but amazingly productive. Options proliferate. Having each person get to this place, voluntarily, and in respect and recognition; we have already come a long way toward transforming the problem and creating a lasting resolution. A legally-binding Memorandum of Agreement is the realization of this.

A second meeting is not unusual. Sometimes it’s just necessary to have time to consider the implications, and then later to meet briefly to finalize. In other instances, for example when the parties are continuing in a close relationship, a follow-up is scheduled for an appropriate future date, when the terms of the agreement have been tested and can be adjusted.

It is not necessary and not usually advisable to bring lawyers, social workers, other professionals, or witnesses to your Case Development or the Mediation, although it’s possible. They must agree to remain in a secondary role, advising you, but not speaking for you. It is sometimes desirable for the parties to take a draft copy of the Memorandum of Agreement to their lawyers, but it is rarely essential to reaching a completely satisfactory outcome. And in all serious conflicts, including those where litigation cannot be averted, mediation is a very productive and cost-saving first step.

What does it cost? You will receive an estimate before you make any commitment and if the parties decide prior to the Case Developments that they do not wish to participate, there is no charge. Billing is per hour and all expenses are included.

It’s no wonder that mediation is an increasingly popular alternative to the legal system.

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John Becker Mediation
Zen Buddhist Temple
297 College Street
Toronto, Ontario, M5T 1S2