Getting Started

To start the mediation process, where no lawyers have yet been employed, one party contacts me by phone or email. During this initial contact, I receive basic information and determine whether the other party or parties are in agreement to begin the process and have an initial meeting. Once all parties have agreed to meet, the time and place and duration of the first meeting is determined. All parties usually meet together with the mediator at all sessions. However, there are circumstances where each party will meet alone with the mediator. It should be understood that mediation is a joint process and except for unusual circumstances, it is preferable for all meetings to be attended by all parties.

If the matter involves a family dispute, such as a separation, divorce or same-sex partnership issue, the parties will be asked to read and sign an Agreement to Mediate Family Dispute. (See Forms) and to verify that they have read and understand the General Rules for Mediation. Other similar agreements will be written for various types of disputes.

Perhaps the most important feature of mediation is that all communications between the parties and the mediator are privileged and confidential. The parties waive their rights to subpoena the mediator and her records. The only exception to this confidentiality is that any communication of physical or sexual abuse of a child must, and will be reported to the proper authorities.