Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution and can be described as a process where a neutral party known as a mediator assists parties in a dispute to reach an amicable resolution to their dispute.
Prior to the mediation date, the mediator tends to have individual discussions with the parties or their lawyers if legally represented to identify the pertinent issues.
On the day of the mediation, the mediator will formally meet and greet the parties and take them to separate, private rooms. A main, communal room will be arranged where all parties and the mediator can gather together throughout the day when joint discussions are required. The mediator will start the process with a group session attended by the parties/lawyers. The mediator will take some time to explain their role and how the day will pan out. Thereafter, each party will make an opening statement setting out their position in relation to the dispute. After this has taken place, the parties tend to be based in their own rooms with the mediator moving between parties to assist with negotiations.
Most mediations tend to result in a settlement of the issues and if so, a formal mediation agreement that is binding is drawn up and signed/dated at the mediation.