Mediation FAQs

NON-ATTORNEY DISCLOSURE: 

Valiant Virtual Mediation is a division of Valiant Virtual Paralegals, LLC (VVP) is not a law firm. Our staff members are not lawyers and cannot give legal advice, nor can staff represent you in court. VVP can provide document preparation services at the client's direction. Services offered by VVP are not a substitute for the advice of a lawyer. If you have questions regarding the section on appropriate forms, you should seek the advice of a lawyer.

What is a Mediator?

A mediator helps you talk with a party with whom you are having a dispute. A mediator does not make decisions for you. However, a mediator is impartial to help you come up with possible solutions, stay on track, and clarify areas of agreement and disagreement.   To become a certified mediator, you must meet many ethical standards and requirements adopted by the California Supreme Court.  

Do you offer an Interpreter?

 We will try to provide Interpreters if Requested by the Parties 1 week prior to the meeting.

What is the difference between mediation and arbitration?

The difference between mediation and arbitration is the process used to solve your conflict. Both options will help you solve a legal issue outside of the traditional court process, but they use two different methods to get you from Alpha to Zeta. The main differences;

  • Mediation: a non-binding process generally conducted with a single mediator facilitating dispute resolution.

  • Arbitration: generally a binding process that replaces a trial process with multiple (often three) chosen people to serve as judges in the case, at which point the dispute is decided by a majority vote.

  • Both arbitration and mediation employ a neutral third party to oversee the process, and they can be binding. 

Pre-Mediation Agreements?

If you want to mediate a dispute, you and the opposing party should enter into a pre-mediation contract. This simple contract should include the following:

  • The mediation should be confidential and non-binding.

  • The parties should agree on who will conduct the mediation and how the mediator will be paid. The cost of the mediator is typically split between the two parties.

  • The parties should agree on the length of the mediation. Most mediations are scheduled for either a 2 hours session or a half-day session.

  • The parties should agree to mediate in good faith until either party reasonably determines that it is fruitless to continue. If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the mediation will result in what is known as an impasse.

What to do if Video Issues?

In case of a technical glitch or failure: 
In the event of any technical problems, do not panic. Panic is not your friend. Shut down your browser and restart the meeting from your email invitation. That should solve any problem. If it does not, you can text us at 415-384-9868. 

Worst Case Scenario: In the event, you are not able to reconnect, we can try completing the mediation via telephone conference call. If that becomes necessary, the call-in number and passcode are provided before the meeting.

What to do if Audio Issues?

In case of a technical glitch or failure: 
In the event of any technical problems, do not panic. Panic is not your friend. Shut down your browser and restart the meeting from your email invitation. That should solve any problem. If it does not, you can text us at 415-384-9868. 

Worst Case Scenario: In the event, you are not able to reconnect, we can try completing the mediation via telephone conference call. If that becomes necessary, the call-in number and passcode are provided before the meeting.

Who offers the Opening Statements?

At the time of the mediation, the filing party shall provide the mediator with a detailed, opening settlement proposal. The proposal should contain each element of the filing party's proposed settlement, including the cost, proposed vendors or placement locations, if possible, and any other details necessary to start a meaningful settlement discussion. The filing party may include questions if the answers are needed before a proposal can be made. The mediator will not share the settlement proposal with the other side(s) until discussing it with the filing party first.

  • Please do NOT send this settlement proposal to Valiant Virtual Mediation, a division of Valiant Virtual Paralegals, LLC.

  • The opening settlement proposal, and the questions, may be made to the mediator orally.

Is there a Pre-Session?

The mediation starts with a pre-session where technology is tested to make sure it is working properly. During this pre-session confidentiality agreements about settlement offers and counter offers will be discussed and agreements reached before the mediation starts. All parties must be present for those discussions to proceed.

Do I need to provide my contact info?

Please Provide VVP Staff with any Updated or Changed Email Addresses and Direct Telephone Numbers for the Attorney and all Clients Participating in the Mediation, No Later than 24 Hours Prior to the Scheduled Mediation
 

You may do so by calling us at 415-384-9868 or by sending something in writing using the Secure e-File Transfer (SFT) system we will provide. You may not submit this information through email.

Will the Other Party see my email address?

In some cases, the other participants may be able to see the email addresses of other participants.

Join by Computer?

If joining the meeting by computer, the mediator will schedule a meeting, and the participants will receive an invitation via email. The meeting invitations will be:

  • "Mediation Meeting" - this will be the "joint room" where all parties and the mediator will be able to meet together.

  • "Caucus Meeting" will be the private meeting "rooms" for parties and their representatives to meet. The mediator may or may not be in the Caucus Rooms through the course of the mediation. Each party will receive an invite to their private caucus meeting in addition to the Mediation Meeting. There may be instances when the Caucus Room invitations are not sent to the parties until all parties have joined the Mediation Meeting.

At the scheduled time for the mediation, click on "Join Virtual Meeting" for the Mediation Meeting. You will join the mediation meeting first, and the Mediator will work to ensure that all parties can access and move between the Mediation Meeting and their own Caucus Meeting.

 

If you have not previously downloaded the Zoom/Online application, a new screen will open in your browser, inviting you to do so. Once the software has been downloaded, you click on the download item to open the software. This will automatically connect you to the meeting. Enter your first and last name where indicated. You will see a message informing you that you will be allowed to enter the meeting shortly. Please wait until the mediator has opened the meeting for you.

Join by Telephone Only?

If joining the meeting by telephone only, we will email the call-in numbers and the Conference ID numbers you will need for your mediation. You will receive information for the joint Mediation Meeting as well as for any private Caucus Meeting to be used.

At the scheduled time for the mediation, you will call into the Mediation Meeting first. Upon calling the number, you will hear a welcome message and be instructed to enter the Conference ID number, followed by the pound (#) sign. You will then be prompted to record your name, then press pound (#) again. Your recorded name will be played when you join the meeting to alert others that you have joined.

The mediator will work with the parties to determine the most efficient means of connecting with each side individually and for joint discussions.

Is Mediation Confidential?

The same confidentiality rules will apply to telephonic or video conference mediations that apply to in-person mediations. There will be no video or audio recording of any mediation processes under any circumstances. The parties may not copy documents by any means, including by cell phone photograph, without the express permission of all parties to the mediation. The mediator will go over the rules of confidentiality prior to the beginning of the mediated discussions.