Online Mediation Guidelines & Expectations
Online mediation allows dispute resolution to continue despite lockdowns, shelter-in-place requirements, quarantines and social distancing. It works best if everyone is on the same page ahead of time.
*Please share these Guidelines & Expectations ahead of time with anyone on your side of the case who will be joining the mediation.*
We conduct our online mediations using Zoom, a videoconferencing platform. We have been using Zoom for years and have been trained in how to use it for mediations. Counsel and parties can join in on their desktop computers, laptops, iPads or phones. We can use joint sessions and separate break-out rooms with complete privacy and confidentiality, with the mediator going from room to room.
Please take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions on our website, where we answer questions about how the process works and hopefully address any questions you have.
Privacy and Security
Mediation is a confidential process. We need to safeguard and protect confidentiality in online mediation as well. To ensure confidentiality, please:
- Use a secure ethernet or WiFi connection. No public WiFi, ever.
- Participate from a private space. The only people who should be able to hear what takes place in the mediation are the actual mediation participants, not family, friends or visitors. This is really important. If you need a support person to be present for any reason, please inform the mediator and parties in advance of the mediation.
- Do Not record anything. The mediator does not record our mediation sessions, and the participants absolutely should not record anything. Turn off Alexa and other services that might record what is happening in your physical space or on your device. These steps will help ensure the confidentiality of the mediation for all parties. Have a good strong internet connection
The technology works great if the participants have a strong internet connection or WiFi signal. If you don’t, you will have problems communicating, voices and video will be distorted, and the mediation will be frustrating when it can and should be simple. If even one signal is the weak link, the entire mediation is impacted.
Download Zoom Beforehand
Zoom is easy to use. Please download it ahead of time on your computer or download the app on your phone. Please see the easy-to follow directions in the Frequently Asked Questions on our website. You can have Zoom ready to go in 10 minutes or less.
What to do if you have a tech issue or problem
In our experience, few problems arise, and those that do can be easily addressed in most cases. If you drop off for some reason, log back on, using the invitation we sent you. If you are having poor sound or video, move closer to your WiFi router.
Our mediators will have their cell phones with them during the entire mediation. Call your mediator and he or she will help you with any issues. Your mediator will put his or her cell phone number in the Zoom invitation. Zoom also has a chat function where you can text messages during the mediation.
For those who are not familiar with Zoom or online video, this can seem a bit intimidating. It is much easier than you are probably expecting. Read our Frequently Asked Questions and, of course, if you have any concerns, please call or e-mail Alexandra or your mediator anytime.
Once you have completed your first mediation online, I think you will be impressed and happily surprised at how well this works.