CO-MEDIATION – involves two or more mediators working together to assist the parties to resolve the dispute. Co-mediation is a helpful tool that should be considered for complex, multi-party, or emotionally charged cases requiring gender balance or different levels of expertise.
In co-mediation, the mediators may work jointly with the parties or be individually assigned to work with one or more individuals or subgroups. One of the mediators may sometimes be designated as the lead mediator. It is very common for two mediators to work as a team. Common goals of co-mediation are to:
· Organize the mediation process before the beginning of the initial face-to face mediation.
· Provide an extra set of eyes and ears to help resolve the dispute.
· Speed up the mediation process and encourage prompt and efficient communication between the parties; and,
· Coordinate effective follow-up after completion of the face-to-face mediation.
ADVANTAGES OF CO-MEDIATION ADVANTAGE FOR THE PARTIES:
· The mediation team may provide age, gender or racial diversity (e.g., older/younger, male/female, Anglo/African American/Hispanic/Asian, etc.)
· The mediation team can represent professional or technical expertise (e.g., attorney/psychologist, retired judge/CPA, business executive/attorney, attorney/non-attorney, etc.).
· The parties to the dispute have the advantage of the combined skills of two mediators, which skills often enhance or complement one another.
· The parties to the dispute may have a greater opportunity to develop a sense of trust or rapport with the mediators.
· Co-mediators diverse backgrounds can enhance cooperative problem solving and improve communication with the disputants.
ADVANTAGES OF CO-MEDIATION FOR THE MEDIATORS
· Having a partner may lessen the tension of mediation, particularly in matters involving high emotion or multiple parties.
· The mediators may more readily divide responsibilities in dealing with individual disputants or multiple parties.
· A co-mediation team is far less likely to be influenced by an individual party.
· Co-mediators with diverse dispute resolution experience can recommend novel or unique strategies for settlement.
· In multiple-party matters, individual mediators may choose to work independently with particular parties to make the mediation process more efficient.
· Mediators, working together as a team, may create a positive synergy, making the process more powerful and effective.
· Co-mediation may be most effectively utilized in commercial, construction, elder care, employment, catastrophic injury, real estate, estate and trust, and multi-party cases. We recognize that the mediation process may be more expensive when utilizing two mediators. As a result, we rarely recommend that co-mediation be utilized in cases involving only very limited monetary or non-monetary damages. ADR, LLC, will work with parties requesting co-mediation opportunities to reduce co-mediation costs on a case-by-case basis. We are committed to facilitating an efficient and expeditious mediation process. Co-mediation often results in a faster-paced mediation resolution.