Legal disputes arise in a variety of areas and contexts, from personal injury to business acquisitions. Two of the most common examples of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) are mediation and facilitation.
Mediation involves a neutral third party who assists parties in resolving a dispute, or at least narrowing the issues, in a manner that is acceptable to both sides. Facilitation involves a neutral third-party providing guidance to design and manage a group communication process to resolve a problem or address issues.
When a party requests mediation or facilitation, the first step is to determine whether other parties involved are also interested in participating. Some requesting parties choose to contact the other directly; some prefer to have our facilitators Lionel Bashore or Kevin Green calling to explain the process and determine interest.
Once parties have agreed to participate in a mediation or facilitation session, Lionel or Kevin and their teams set up a time for a meeting to occur. Mediations and facilitations are scheduled as soon as all parties and a neutral are available to meet.
Mediation typically begins with a mediator conducting a brief overview of the process and then requesting that the parties explain the situation from their perspectives. The mediator listens to the parties’ concerns and helps them communicate and engage in creative problem solving. Through a series of joint and private meetings with the parties, the mediator helps parties to narrow and clarify issues, and, if possible, reach a mutually agreeable solution. The mediator may help to draft an agreement or design next steps.
Facilitation may begin with a facilitator talking with some or all members of a group to outline goals and design an appropriate process to reach those goals. At a group meeting, the facilitator acts as a process guide to help the parties reach their stated goals. The facilitator may help to draft an agreement or design next steps.
To learn more about the facilitation and mediation services provided by Lionel Bashore and Kevin Green, visit their Facilitation and Mediation webpage.