Steps to Resolve your Dispute

1. Recognise that you have alternatives. Even if you have commenced litigation, mediation is a good way of focusing people back on what is important - working out how to sort out their differences and then getting back to business.

2. Identify what is important to you and what might be important to the other side. With these things in mind suggest to the other side that mediation be used.

3. If you are not comfortable suggesting mediation to the other side we can do it on your behalf. We will send the other side information on what to expect, cost, how to prepare, and the cv of an experienced mediator. We can answer any questions or concerns they might have.

4. Once the parties agree to use mediation we will provide a mediation agreement (which outlines the process to be used, confidentiality and cost). The mediator will meet with each party separately to discuss preparation for the mediation and to get some background on the dispute.

5. The mediator will suggest dates for an exchange of information prior to the mediation. This might be simply an agenda of issues to discuss or a summary of the issues and claims being made. The parties will decide how much information should be exchanged prior to the mediation.

6. The mediator and the parties will set a date for the mediation. Often this can be within 7 - 10 days of the initial enquiry call.

7. At the mediation the mediator will ask each side to explain the problem as they see it. The mediator will assist the parties to identify the most important elements of the dispute. The mediator will help the parties to discuss the issues, clarify misunderstandings, identify any common ground and their needs and focus on the problem.

8. The mediator might meet with the parties separately - these meetings are confidential unless the parties say otherwise. These meetings give the parties the opportunity to speak openly with the mediator about progress and options.

9. The mediator will assist the parties to generate options that (as much as possible) meet the needs of both sides.

10. The parties summarise the terms of the agreement and sign the agreement. They are then bound by the terms of the agreement.