27 Mar Mediations During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Cooper Mediation hopes all of our friends, clients and colleagues are staying safe and healthy.
We are all striving to find some sense of normalcy in these trying and challenging times. Cooper Mediation Inc. will continue to conduct mediations by way of videoconferencing and teleconferencing until we are authorized by government and health authorities to resume face-to-face meetings.
We have determined that Zoom, a remote conferencing service that combines videoconferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration, is most appropriate to conduct mediations. It seems this platform was designed with mediation in mind as there is a waiting room, main room and multiple breakout rooms. Participants do not need to have their own Zoom account to use the platform. Participants join the mediation videoconference by clicking a link provided by email and following the instructions. It is very simple and intuitive. The International Academy of Mediators [IAM] has endorsed Zoom as the preferred platform for conducting remote mediations.
If you or your client has any anxiety about Zoom, technology-based or otherwise, we are happy to arrange a practice session in advance of the mediation so that you and your client can familiarize yourselves with the features. We have also written a blog on 6 Tips To Make The Most Of Virtual Mediation to help with this transition.
As an alternative, we are also prepared to conduct mediations utilizing Skype or conventional teleconferencing.
Once the mediation by way of Zoom teleconference has been confirmed, we will send an email with step-by-step instructions. If we are proceeding in some other fashion, we will confirm those arrangements as well.
For all mediations scheduled for Monday, March 30, 2020 and thereafter until the government authorizes us to meet in person, Cooper Mediation Inc. will waive any rescheduling fees. In other words, if the parties wish to reschedule the mediation to a later date to allow for what we hope will be face-to-face meetings and negotiations, any applicable cancellation fee will be waived provided that the mediation is rescheduled and proceeds on the rescheduled date. For mediations which are cancelled/postponed and not rescheduled, Cooper Mediation Inc. reserves the right to charge a cancellation fee in accordance with the terms of the mediation agreement which was distributed when the mediation was originally booked.
Cooper Mediation Inc. believes that face-to-face mediation remains the gold standard. However, in these challenging and difficult times, we all must try to make lemonade out of lemons as we attempt to find normalcy.
If you wish to discuss this further, please contact a member of the team at Cooper Mediation.
Vance, Jon and Logan and the Team at Cooper Mediation