How to prepare for your mediation
After choosing to mediate your dispute, how do you prepare for mediation? Here are our tips:
The Case Statement
SMC’s Mediation Procedure requires parties to exchange a summary of their case (the “Case Statement”) and supporting documents at least five days before the actual mediation. The Case Statement should provide the following:
- key issues to be mediated
- main concerns / interests of the parties
- status of relations between parties before the dispute and currently
- previous settlement efforts and their outcomes, if any
- persons relevant to the dispute (highlight if they are unable or unwilling to attend mediation)
- how the dispute can possibly be resolved
- possible obstacles to resolution of the dispute
If the parties have some information they consider too sensitive to exchange in the Case Statement but are important to address, they may choose to convey the information directly to the mediator in writing.
Set Realistic Goals
Ideally, parties should not limit themselves and should think “out-of-the-box” for creative (and possibly win-win) solutions to the dispute. Each party should think about the proposals it wants to put forward, and the proposals that the other side has, or is likely to put forward. In relevant cases, parties should also think about how far they are prepared to compromise. Parties should set out the reasons and basis for their solutions clearly, work out the figures they intend to put forward (where relevant), and share copies of the documents it intends to refer to. Parties should consider their proposals objectively, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each other’s position to avoid requesting for unacceptable settlement terms.
Attitude at Mediation
To have a fruitful mediation, parties should understand that mediation requires the joint effort of the parties, and that it is not an adversarial nor adjudicative process. It has to be conducted with civility to bring results, and the mediator can be called upon for guidance and assistance. Parties should bear in mind that a give-and-take settlement would bring the dispute to an end, while a failed mediation would not benefit either party. If the dispute is not resolved it will probably have to proceed to litigation or arbitration, where each party has to bear with the longer time to be spent on litigation/ arbitration, higher costs, greater effort and stress, and the uncertainties associated with such proceedings. Always keep an open mind and be open to new options for settlement. If you are respectful and cordial towards the other party, they are more likely to reciprocate by considering your opinions and views too.
For more information on mediation, please visit www.mediation.com.sg.
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June 2017 Issue. For past issues, read more here.