Process

Blue Heron

APPROACH

Replace judgment with curiosity. Rande’s approach to mediation is to encourage  a strategy of inquiry as the best method of exploring the dispute and possible solutions. Mediation is a very enlightening process. Suspending assumptions and asking questions best help each party and attorney to determine what the other side’s point of view on the matter may be. 

Mediation is like a custom-fitted suit; the process is fashioned for each case. Rande works with counsel and their clients to craft a mediation process that fits the needs of all participants and facilitates optimal understanding and resolution. As the mediator, Rande is the tailor and the guardian of the mediation process.

In many cases, parties and counsel receive great value by communicating directly in a joint session at some point in the process. Eliminating the extra filters of intermediaries often allows the principals to listen and understand each other much more effectively. The effectiveness arises from the mutual goal of resolution in a confidential environment.

INITIATING MEDIATION

For your convenience, you can check Rande’s availability at any time by going to www.sotomayorlaw.com, and clicking the Scheduling tab. You will find an interactive calendar that shows her availability and allows you to hold a mutually agreed

butterflies and pupae hanging

PREPARING FOR MEDIATION

This is the most important part of the mediation process. Participants who are thoroughly prepared, knowing their case and the law, routinely reach desirable solutions. Click here and here for articles on the subject of preparation.

MEDIATION STATEMENTS

Written mediation statements are essential for effective mediator preparation. Briefs should include:

  • The operative facts of the case, the parties’ legal positions;
  • the details of the relief sought;
  • the history of any settlement discussions;
  • copies of any key documents,
  • any other information you believe would be helpful.

Counsel are strongly encouraged to exchange written statements and convey confidential information separately. This is a highly efficient way in which to save time at the mediation session itself. Click here for an article we recommend you review about useful mediation briefs.

two parrots in a zoo

ATTENDANCE

All parties and any person whose approval is necessary for a complete resolution of the matter are required to personally appear at the mediation and remain present until agreement is reached or until the mediation is terminated.

VIRTUAL ADR

The virtual arrangement of a videoconference mediation is almost exactly the same as the arrangement of rooms in an in-person session. Once you have clicked on the Zoom link and entered the password (only if prompted to do so), you will be placed in a Waiting Room, much like the lobby of an office suite. You won’t be able to see or talk to anyone else, but we receive notice that you have arrived.

Once we are ready, we will admit all participants into either a common room (the “main conference room”) or a private “breakout room” for introductions and review of the process.

If the parties are comfortable, Rande will lead a discussion about about the dispute in the common room. We will then direct you to return to your private breakout room. Rande creates these secure breakout rooms, goes back and forth between them, moves people from one room to another, and generally runs the mediation as she would if the meeting were in person. When you are in a breakout room, nobody else can see or hear you other than those you see on your screen.

Throughout the mediation, you can mute your microphone, turn off your video, put any document on your computer up onto the screens of others in your room, and even draw on a whiteboard. You will always know who is in your room by either seeing their video feed or clicking on the list of participants.