We believe in the value of virtual ADR proceedings. Online mediation and arbitration minimize costs for clients and save time, all while providing similar results to in-person engagements.
Please review our procedures for information on how to navigate our virtual ADR services.
All virtual mediation sessions are private and work to fit the needs of all parties.
After scheduling a virtual mediation, you will receive an email confirmation that will include the necessary information you need to access video conferencing software and maximize the mediation process. All parties will sign Alterity ADR’s online mediation guidelines and corresponding Agreement to Mediate.
- Video Conferencing Platform. Alterity ADR will conduct all virtual mediations via Zoom, a secure cloud-based video conferencing software platform. Other video conferencing platforms, such as Webex and Microsoft Teams are available upon request.
- Secure Wifi or Ethernet connection. All participants will need a secure WiFi or Ethernet connection for the mediation session. We strongly discourage the use of public WiFi connection.
Privacy and Confidentiality
All virtual mediations maintain strict Privacy and Confidentiality guidelines. All participants in the mediation agree that all communications related to the mediation are private and confidential.
Alterity ADR follows the following process for all virtual arbitration proceedings.
VIDEO CONFERENCING TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS
Alterity ADR will conduct all virtual arbitrations via Zoom, a secure cloud-based video conferencing software platform. Other video conferencing platforms, such as Webex, or Microsoft Teams, are available upon request. All parties, attorneys, and witnesses are encouraged to download the free versions of these platforms before the arbitration. All participants may contact Alterity ADR for detailed instructions for each software platform. In order to optimize the experience, all parties and participants will need a camera-enabled device and audio capability. In addition, participants will need access to a stable and secure internet connection capable of streaming video audio via Zoom, Webex, or Teams.
All parties and participants must be visible on screen and able to hear. To ensure optimal audio and privacy, we encourage the use of earbuds or headphones. To ensure optimal visibility, we encourage all participants to establish sufficient lighting. Participants may use ring lights or position a lighting source in front of the device.
We highly suggest a quiet, private location to conduct the arbitration hearing. To ensure the confidentiality of all hearings, we encourage the following protocol:
- Conduct all sessions in a remote, secure area (public spaces are strongly discouraged)
- Non-authorized participants may not be present at any point during the session.
- Use only a secure internet connection (public WiFi is strongly discouraged)
- No participant shall record the hearing. If you learn of an audio or video recording of any session, please take immediate measures to destroy the recording. All parties agree to not transmit a live or deferred video or audio relay of the arbitration sessions to third parties.
Before the hearing, you will receive detailed hearing confirmation from an Alterity ADR case manager via email. This notification will include your meeting ID, meeting link, meeting password, and a phone number on hand should any participant experience technical difficulties.
INITIATION OF ARBITRATION SESSION
We encourage all participants to log on to hearing sessions at least 15 minutes before the agreed-upon starting time. Virtual arbitration sessions will remain active throughout the duration.
Upon logging in, each party and attorneys will be placed into separate virtual breakout rooms, in the same manner, that parties would be placed into private conference rooms for in-person engagements. The Arbitrator or an Alterity ADR representative will move each counsel and party to the joint session virtual room.
When new participants arrive at the session, they will be placed in a “waiting room” and will not join until admitted to the session.
OBJECTIONS DURING EXAMINATION
If an attorney wants to object to a witness examination, they should utilize the “raise hand” feature in the main toolbar. (Zoom, Webex, and Teams all have this function.) The Arbitrator will stop ask the basis for the objection and determine whether to move attorneys or court reporters to a separate room for a bench conference. The Arbitrator will have the discretion to move advocates and any court reporter to a different room for bench conferences.