What do I do? What does the Mediator do? Do I need a lawyer for mediation?

1. Parties

As a party to the mediation your role is to be:

  • open and honest
  • to abide by the ground rules established by the mediator so that you communicate effectively
  • listen to understand the other party’s point of view (which does not involve agreeing with that perspective)
  • speak up and be an active participant
  • focus on your interests, needs, wants, concerns and fears instead of any one position on an issue.

2. Lawyers (if present)

Parties may choose to attend mediation with or without legal counsel. A lawyer’s role in mediation is unique. A lawyer attends mediation in order to:

  • provide support to his/her client
  • answer any questions that the client may have throughout the process
  • provide their opinion on legal matters that arise during the process and provide the client with legal advice as may be required.

Unlike a litigation process, however, a lawyer does not attend mediation to advocate for their client.

3. Mediator

The mediator’s role is to:

  • educate the parties about the mediation process
  • create an atmosphere conducive to open, honest communication
  • maintain the integrity of the process by carefully monitoring the pace and content of discussions
  • provide legal information, as required
  • assist the parties in identifying common concerns, understand each parties interest and needs
  • aid in the generation of options
  • assist with the evaluation of chosen options and with the negotiation of a final solution
  • deal with power imbalances should they arise
  • draft a mediation report upon a resolution being reached

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