The mediation process
The parties in dispute choose to mediate.
The parties are then informed by Tony in writing:
• How the mediation process operates; and
• What the cost will be; and
• They receive a copy of the Mediation Agreement setting out the terms under which the mediation will be conducted.
The length of time required will be discussed with the parties.
Mediations usually take one day.
Agreements reached are recorded in writing either
• By the parties solicitors in a formal binding agreement or
• Signed off by the parties themselves if they have not required legal representation.
Are there risks to mediation?
There are no risks to mediation because the parties have control of the dispute and agreement must be unanimous.
If they cannot agree the dispute will be dealt with in the old fashioned way through the Courts.
• Therefore nothing can be lost.
• If an agreement is reached that can be relied on in Court proceedings should a party decide later to resile on their signed agreement.
• The Courts will only set aside a mediated agreement in the most rare of cases.
Is there a right of appeal?
There is no need for a right of appeal from an agreement reached with the consent of all the parties involved. Therefore the risk of an appeal is removed, as is the cost.
Do the parties have to agree prior to the mediation to be bound by the mediation?
That is not necessary because mediation is not arbitration. All the parties need to do is agree that they have sufficient authority to negotiate in good faith and to ratify any agreement reached.
Is mediation expensive?
Mediation is by far the cheapest formal way of settling disputes.
This is because mediations normally require far less documentation and take far less time than either an arbitration or Court litigation.
A mediation can be convened urgently and as soon as an agreement to mediate is reached.
The New Zealand Courts and in particular the High Court and the Court of Appeal strongly endorse mediation as a process. The High Court has incorporated provision for mediation in all its stages of the litigation process as has the District Court. The Higher Courts have supported the mediation process in their judgments.