In facilitative mediation, a neutral attempts to facilitate negotiation between the parties in conflict. Rather than making recommendations or imposing a decision, the neutral encourages the parties to reach their own voluntary solution by exploring each other’s deeper interests. In facilitative mediation, neutrals tend to not disclose their views regarding the conflict.
Mediation can be mandated by a court that is interested in promoting a cost-efficient settlement in a timely manner. When parties reluctantly engage in court-ordered mediation, their odds of settling are low. When the parties eagerly engage in mediation, settlement rates are much higher.
In evaluative mediation the neutrals are more likely to make recommendations and suggestions and to express opinions. Evaluative neutrals help parties assess the legal merits of their arguments and make fairness determinations.
In transformative mediation, neutrals focus on empowering the parties to resolve their conflict and encourage them to recognize each other’s needs and interests. Transformative mediation process endeavors to transform the parties and their relationship by cultivating the skills, attitudes, and empath they need to make constructive change.
In med-arb, a mediation-arbitration hybrid, parties first reach written agreement on the terms of the process, which typically include accepting a binding outcome. Next, they attempt to negotiate a resolution with the help of a neutral.
If the mediation ends with the matter unresolved in whole or part, the parties can move on to arbitration. The neutral can assume the role of arbitrator and render a binding decision, either on the case as a whole or on the unresolved issues. Alternatively, a new arbitrator can take over the case after consulting with the mediator.
In arb-med, the neutral hears evidence and testimony in an arbitration; writes an award but keeps it from the parties; attempts to mediate the dispute; and unseals and issues the previously determined binding award if the parties fail to reach agreement
The process keeps the pressure on the parties to reach an agreement. The neutral, however, cannot change the previous award based on new insights gained during the mediation.
In virtual-mediation, a neutral provides services to parties who are, or need to be, located at a distance from one another.
Virtual-mediation will resemble traditional facilitative mediation, delivered using video conferencing services. The parties can easily communicate in real time, while also benefiting from visual and vocal cues. Early research results suggest that technology-enhanced mediation can be just as effective as in-person meditation. Virtual-mediation can also be a low-stress process that can more quickly generate trust in the process – and a result the outcomes.