During this difficult public health emergency, we have watched as courthouses have limited intake of cases to emergencies, and lawyers have turned to telecommuting. However, efforts to resolve cases through mediation have continued. I mediate state and federal cases, and I have mediated cases with videoconferencing platforms. The most widely used platform with which many are familiar is Zoom. RingCentralMeetings, which is powered by Zoom, can also be used easily by anyone familiar with Zoom.

Videoconference mediations can be done efficiently, without traveling by the attorneys, clients, or insurance company representatives. Costs and time are less than with in-person meetings. The technology is flexible, allowing for joint sessions, separate caucuses, screen sharing, chat, and document exchange. Videoconference, like a phone call, can be initiated early during a lawsuit, and it is easy to schedule follow-up sessions. It can be lower-keyed than an in-person confrontation, helping some parties to focus on interests, rather than emotions.

A number of persons have expressed concern about the security features of Zoom, because they have read about the phenomenon of Zoombombing, where unwanted participants intrude into a Zoom meeting. Zoom has responded to security concerns by enabling the use of passwords and a virtual “Waiting Room” that persons must enter before the meeting host allows them to participate in a meeting.

While the coronavirus crisis has made videoconferencing a viable alternative to a physical meeting, it seems likely that after the current crisis fades, videoconferencing will become more popular as a means to conduct a mediation.

If you have questions about mediating by videoconference or setting up a mediation with me, feel free to contact me at:
malexander@alvaradosmith.com phone: 714.852.6836.

Marc Alexander helps companies and individuals find cost-effective and satisfactory resolutions to a broad range of complex business disputes. After more than 35 years litigating civil business matters, Marc mediates conflict with a steadfast conviction that negotiation, patience, and persistence lead to positive outcomes in even the most challenging disputes.

 

DISCLAIMER: The information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional counsel or legal advice. Seek legal counsel for advice with respect to any legal matter. The information in this document may not reflect the most current developments as the subject matter is extremely fluid and may change daily. The content and interpretation of the issues addressed herein are subject to change.