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Guidelines for Conduct During the Mediation Conference

By Dale E. Kleber     

Copyright © 2007 by Accord ADR Services .  All rights reserved.

 

All disputes, even commercial disputes, can contain an emotional component which can hinder the constructive communication and collaborative negotiation that are critical to achieving agreement.  Having the parties agree on a set of ground rules governing their conduct during a mediation conference will form the foundation for a successful mediation. 

The following round rules serve as standards of conduct for the Parties and the Mediator during the mediation session.  These Guidelines are a part of ACCORD's standard Mediation Agreement and are typically agreed upon by the parties at the beginning of the mediation conference; however, the parties are free to change or amend any or all of the Guidelines at any time.

ACCORD's recommended grounds rules are listed below:

  1. The Parties agree to attempt, in good faith, to negotiate a settlement of the matter submitted to mediation.

  2. The mediation shall be private and confidential

  3. All participants in the mediation agree to take turns speaking and not to interrupt each other.

  4. Only one participant will speak at a time. Each Party will have an equal opportunity to speak and express its views.

  5. Each participant agrees to use respectful language when speaking and agrees to listen respectfully when not speaking.

  6. Each participant recognizes that, even if he or she does not agree with statements made by another participant, each participant is entitled to his/her own perspective.

  7. Each participant agrees not to blame, attack or insult and to ask questions of each other only for the purposes of gaining clarity and understanding.

  8. Each participant agrees to make a conscious effort to refrain from unproductive arguing, venting or narration and utilize the time in mediation to work toward a constructive resolution of the disputed matter(s).

  9. The Parties agree to focus on finding future solutions rather than dwelling on past problems.

  10. The Parties agree to focus on their respective needs, interests and desired outcomes in the mediation and avoid inflexible or non-negotiable bargaining positions.

  11. Any participant can request a break at any time.

  12. The mediation procedure will be controlled by the Mediator, but the results of the mediation will be controlled by the Parties.

  13. The mediation will consist of joint sessions where all Parties are in attendance and private sessions or “caucuses” where only one Party or a group of aligned Parties are present.  Any Party may request a caucus at any time, subject to the Mediator’s concurrence.

  14. The Mediator will not transmit or otherwise disclose confidential information provided by one Party to any other Party unless authorized to do so by the Party providing the information.

  15. If any Party feels the Mediator is not acting impartially at any time, such Party agrees to promptly raise his or her concerns with the Mediator.

  16. Participants may dress for the mediation session in any style which is comfortable for them and deemed professional.

 

  

Copyright © 2007 by Accord ADR Services .  All rights reserved.  "ACCORD" is a service mark of Accord ADR Services.

 


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