Virtual Mediation Guidelines and Ground Rules for a Successful Mediation

Thank you for choosing the RESOLVE Law San Diego Pro-Bono panel for your mediation.  To ensure a successful mediation, we ask that you review our guidelines and ground rules for a successful virtual mediation experience.

  • Ensure that you have a strong and secure internet connection.  If you do not have a strong connection, you will find that your video and audio feed can freeze up.  DO NOT use public internet connections such as Libraries, Starbucks, etc.  Only use a secure connection for privacy and confidentiality considerations.  If you have others connected to and using your internet connection, it can cause low bandwidth.  It is best to ask others not to use your internet connection during mediation.
     
  • No recording of the mediation is allowed by any participant, including video or photographs.
     
  • No additional party other than those who are participating in the mediation will be allowed to sit-in on the mediation.  
     
  • You will receive an invitation to a Zoom videoconference from your Mediator. This will include the link with a time and date. The Mediator is the host.
     
  • If you have not used Zoom app before, we highly suggest that you set up a test meeting with a friend, co-worker or family member.  Please download for free Zoom application set-up prior to your mediation.  (Very easy to do.)
     
  • For those who may log-in remotely to their office computers, this does not work as the application will be looking for the microphone and camera of the remote computer, not the one you are using.  Be sure to log-in through the computer you are using.
     
  • One the day of our mediation, please log on at least 5 minutes prior to our mediation start time to ensure you are experiencing technical difficulties.  We highly suggest that the device that you are using (smartphone, tablet, or computer) be plugged in and not using battery.
     
  • It is best that you do not have your camera facing a window.  This will cause you to appear in a shadow.  You will want your camera facing at a straight on angle or slightly coming down.
     
  • We ask that your environment be distraction free.  Have your background as just as plain wall, bookcase, etc., is best.
     
  • Upon entering the mediation, you will be placed in a “waiting room.”  Once the mediator is ready, he/she will bring everyone into the meeting or likely place you directly into a private breakout room with others in your group.
     
  • You will be provided the mediator’s phone number in case of any technical difficulties.  Please make sure your exchange cell numbers with the mediator prior to your session.
     
  • When the mediation then begins, each party will be placed in the own breakout rooms—if not there already.  Typically, the mediator will then start with the plaintiff’s breakout room.  The party not working with the mediator will see each person from their own party and will be free to discuss freely amongst themselves.  As the mediator moves back and forth between the different breakrooms, you will receive a notification like a knock or doorbell ring. An additional video pop up appears and then the mediator will be in your group.   
     
  • Should you experience technical difficulties, do not panic.  It is okay and we will figure it out.  Your mediator may bring his/her assistant into the meeting to assist anyone having difficulties.  Again, do not panic. We will work it out.

If you have a secondary device, like a smartphone, we highly recommend that you have that set up as a back-up in case of technical difficulties.

If you experience technical difficulties during the mediation, contact your mediator immediately via phone or text.

There is also a dial-in number on the invitation email if you need to get back into the mediation via telephone only.

Settlement

The mediator will ensure any settlement is reduced to writing, including a provision that the parties themselves agree that the settlement is enforceable pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6 and that the court will retain jurisdiction to enforce the settlement.  All required signatures must be exchanged in counterpart by electronic signatures, fax or email by each party. The Mediator will confirm the settlement via email at the end of the session.

Because no court reporter will be present, the settlement agreement must contain detailed representations that the parties understand and accept the agreement freely, without any threats or undisclosed promises, and that any questions they have about the settlement have been answered.  The mediator will designate a party to notify the court when a settlement is reached.