Does someone want to participate in a mediation but cannot attend in person? What if an out of town lawyer or party cannot arrange their travel schedules to make a specific date work? An online mediation may be the answer. In my view, the next trend in mediations will be online dispute resolution. Below are some frequently asked questions about this service.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How does it work?
I email a link to the lawyers, who can share it with their clients. Simply click on that link, and you’ll join the mediation by video conference on your computer.
What equipment must I have?
You just need a computer or tablet that is equipped with a microphone and camera. Most current iPads and laptops already have this technology built in. If you want to see if yours will work, just shoot me an email. We can test it.
Do I have to be tech savvy?
No. All you have to do is click on a link that I email to you. I control everything else on my end.
In your mediations, I know that you usually have the parties in separate rooms. How does this work with video mediations?
It’s almost exactly the same. When the parties and lawyers click on the link that I circulate, I’ll put the plaintiff and their attorney in one “breakout room,” and I’ll put the defendant and their counsel in a separate “breakout room.” As the mediator, I will go back and forth between the two “rooms,” just like a live mediation.
What if some of the participants want an in-person mediation and other participants want an online mediation?
This is no problem. It is perfectly fine for me to be present with one side while the other side participates remotely. Likewise, it is fine if one or both of the lawyers want to participate in person while one or both of the parties participate by video. I’ll just email the link to the people who want to participate remotely, and they will be able to.
Can everyone look at documents in an online mediation?
Yes. Just email them to me, and I can “share” them on the screen so everyone can see them. In fact, reviewing documents together can actually be easier in an online mediation.
Can I speak to my client privately?
Sure. You and your client will have your own virtual room. Just ask me to leave while you visit with your client, and I’ll return when you’re ready for me, just like an in person mediation.
Do I have to download software?
No. I use the Zoom platform. I simply email you a link. You can share that link with whoever will be attending the mediation. You just click on the link to join. There’s no need to sign up for your own Zoom account or to download any software.