* There are significant savings in legal costs by avoiding the litigation route;
* Mediation is usually achieved in one day and avoids the lengthy delays in the court process;
* It allows the parties to influence the outcome as oppose to a decision being made by a judge;
* The mediation process allows a more amicable resolution than court and preserves the relationship between the parties.
* Even if mediation does not result in a settlement; at least some of the issues will be partly resolved providing greater clarity on “where to from here …..”
Ms Kasselis offers mediations in Brisbane and The Sunshine Coast, face to face, online or over the phone. Click here to make an appointment.
The Process: What Happens At Mediation
The mediator can provide face-to- face mediations, shuttle mediations (whereby the parties are in separate rooms), lawyer-assisted mediations or telephone mediations.
Sometimes the mediator will offer a “joint session” at the commencement of the process where each party discusses their case so that parties are provided with a more realistic view of the dispute.
After the joint session, Claudine often meets privately with both sides. This is where Claudine will explore a number of issues designed to educate the parties on such things like the most probable outcome if the dispute does not settle at mediation, consequential cost of litigation and the strengths and weaknesses of the case.
As negotiations proceed, the mediator is there to test validity of the party’s positions. It is essential that negotiations continue until such time that the party’s best position is on the table. It is up to the mediator to use her skills and experience to keep the negotiations going until this point is reached.
If an agreement is reached, the mediator can prepare a settlement document “ie. Heads of Agreement” for the parties to review and then sign that correctly reflects the agreement reached.
Top 5 Things To Look For In A Great Mediator
1. Success Rate
It’s important to look for a mediator who has a track record of settling matters. Whilst not every case can settle at mediation, research indicates that over 73% will settle in the hands of a skilled mediator.
Claudine has a success rate of over 80% and has been known to settle the ‘unsettleable’*.
Ms Kasselis offers mediations in Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Sydney, Melbourne and over the phone.
It is imperative that both parties feel comfortable with their chosen mediator. To gain parties’ trust and confidence, the rapport must be genuine and therefore a mediator must lead from an honest heart. Parties need to feel that they can trust a mediator to be fair and believe that the mediator can grapple with changing issues that arise during negotiations.
Claudine acts neutrally, focusing on parties to identify ways of reaching a settlement. Claudine has the ability to connect with people, gain their trust so when she asks them to consider something they are resistant to, they will do it.
3. Subject Matter Expertise
Does the mediator have “subject matter “ expertise? It is important that the mediator has relevant experience before her career as a mediator in terms of:
Law - it is important that the mediator has a strong knowledge of the area of law that is pertaining to the matter in dispute.
Business Knowledge - It may be the case that strong business acumen is imperative to negotiate an outcome between the parties.
Accounting expertise - the mediation may require that the mediator understands complex business structures and financial management in order assess and communicate financial information between the parties.
Claudine’s Qualifications: Claudine comes armed with legal knowledge as well commercial and accounting knowledge, which may be invaluable to the parties’ dispute. She is able to provide an unbiased and well-informed objective view of the dispute between the parties. Claudine is a Barrister, a Nationally Accredited Mediator and a Registered Family Dispute Practitioner under the Family Law Act. Prior to Claudine ‘s career as a Barrister, she was an accountant, holds a Bachelor of Business, MBA and PhD in Accounting. This gives Claudine exceptional business knowledge and subject matter expertise.
4. Mediation Skills
A mediator must maintain neutrality throughout the process so that the parties feel supported and comfortable in the mediation. What skills must a mediator use in order to move the matter forward? Ideally both a facilitated and evaluative style may be used in the same mediation to keep negotiations moving forward. A facilitative mediator places a priority on each of the parties’ feelings about fair outcome and want s them to come to their own conclusion about how the matter should settle. An evaluative mediator provides hands-on guidance to the parties regarding the most appropriate settlement terms. The key is for the mediator to know when to use each style. An opinion expressed by the mediator too early in the process is less likely to be accepted and may hinder the negotiations. Likewise, an effort in facilitating an agreement without communicating to a party their unrealistic expectations has little chances of settling.“Ms Kasselis handled the conferences professionally and efficiently, with our clients not feeling under pressure at any stage?of the process.?Ms Kasselis was knowledgeable in the area of family law, and a?patient listener. Her neutral stance was evident, and she inspired?confidence and trust in our clients.?We have faith in Ms Kasselis’ ability to effectively mediate family?law matters, and do not hesitate to recommend her as a good mediator.” Yvonne Davey, DAVEY LAW
5. Negotiation Skills
Two things must happen in every mediation:
First, the parties must realise and understand completely the alternative outcome if the dispute is not settled at mediation. This is something that the mediator must convey strongly to the parties.
Second, negotiations must continue until such time each party has put their “best offer on the table”. This is up to the mediator to ensure that this occurs. If these two things aren’t handled well by the mediator, the chances of settlement are very slim.
Claudine Kasselis is tenacious. She has skills to break impasse and keep negotiations going despite obstacles to settlement. Claudine will ask the tough questions and points out the biggest risks to both parties. Claudine will not put pressure on parties to agree but will facilitate process and at the same concentrates on helping people identify ways of securing a settlement. Claudine will “go the extra mile” to reach settlement every time.