Mediation is a settlement conference attended by the parties and their attorneys and which is conducted by an impartial third party known as the mediator. There is no set format for how a mediation is conducted. Generally the parties and the mediator will meet in a joint session for a few minutes, whereby the mediator will explain the process and go over the rules. Thereafter, each attorney will be afforded the opportunity to outline the case and identify the issues that need to be addressed. The parties and their attorneys, after which will caucus, meaning they will go into separate conference rooms and the mediator will go back and forth between the parties in an effort to facilitate a settlement. Should there be a great deal of animosity between the parties and one party chooses not to start off in a joint session, that can be done.

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