Conducting Mediation Sessions Through The COVID-19 Pandemic
During the current shut down of the Court system, attorneys are finding it difficult, if not impossible to get an issue in front of a Judge for a decision and thus are finding the status of their case in limbo. However, the option of mediation remains a tool you can utilize to benefit your clients.
During this time, with court and office closures, we have been utilizing video conferencing technology, including Microsoft Teams and Zoom. These are apps easily accessible for nearly any client. Indeed, the Zoom App available for free download on a smart phone for clients who may not have a computer or internet access. This technology can be used to video conference with you in lieu of visiting in office.
Additionally, Zoom technology can be used to conduct mediation sessions as necessary. Mediators can provide “breakout rooms” for attorneys and clients in which they can talk confidentially without the other attorney and client listening in. This virtual mediation session is nearly identical conducting an in-person mediation session. The mediator creates as many “breakout rooms” as necessary to provide a confidential environment for attorneys and clients and the mediator can enter these breakout rooms virtually, just as if I was entering one physically at my office during a mediation.
Ultimately, there is no reason to have the current closure of the court system slow down your practice. By utilizing virtual mediation services, you can continue to move your cases forward. Often times I hear from attorneys that even if they are unable to settle a dispute entirely in mediation, they are able to move the case forward either by resolving discovery disputes, or narrowing the issues moving forward. With limited access to the Courts, now is the optimal time to utilize virtual mediation sessions in all of your cases to allow compliance with a trial court’s requirements that parties engage in alternative dispute resolution and to keep your cases actively moving toward completion.
If you are seeking virtual mediation services, contact May Oberfell Lorber. Specially trained mediators will be able assist you during these challenging times.
This article is for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice.