Video Mediation: Frequently Worthwhile, but Particularly Useful Today

April 9, 2020Alerts

Recent events have prompted more litigants to consider mediation through video. Many experienced litigants, however, relying upon the many strengths of “in-person” mediation, have rejected the use of this technology.

Today’s video conferencing technology permits effective mediation remotely. Litigants and their clients should use this method more frequently for many reasons.

Scheduling Ease

Video mediation makes it easier for the parties to select a mediation date and time. Under normal circumstances, setting up an in-person mediation often requires overcoming numerous logistical obstacles. Currently, it can be nearly impossible. Consequently, time and money can be saved in the selection of a mediation date alone.

Fewer Delays

Use of video mediation allows parties to avoid the typical delays associated with an in-person meeting. The logistical hurdles associated with establishing an in-person mediation frequently produce a wait of weeks or often months before mediation can occur, something the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated.

Savings in Fees

If the parties can avoid delay, they can reap another benefit — savings in the amount of time and money spent during a delay on both legal and expert fees. 

Efficient Case Assessment

Because parties can schedule a mediation sooner, they have the opportunity to present their positions to an experienced, objective mediator. This allows parties to assess and reassess the strengths and weaknesses of various arguments more quickly.

Preserves Nonverbal Cues

Video allows litigators and their clients to observe the nonverbal aspects of the other side. The technology exists to enable both face-to-face encounters as well as separate “avenues” for litigators and clients to confer confidentially. Therefore, litigators can observe the other side and then confer separately with their clients in a confidential setting.

As with in-person mediation, the parties must be prepared in advance of mediation. To that end, litigants must ensure proper protocols are in place and followed by all participants.