With 40 teams representing 21 national law universities and reputed law colleges, the Orientation and Training Session for the III RMLNLU National Mediation Competition, commenced at 3:00pm, 17 February 2017.
The first orientation and training session was conducted by Mr. Nisshant Laroia, Winner of the Best Mediator Award of II RMLNLU National Mediation Competition. A 4th Year student of the Gujarat National Law University, he is an Accredited Mediator at the International Mediation Institute, Indian Institute of Arbitration and Management and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. In July 2016, Nisshant was also awarded the Best Mediator: Runners-Up at the Vis Second Youth International Mediation Competition, Hong Kong.
Nisshant’s motto as a mediator is, “Listen to understand and not to only reply.”
Mediation is a strong economic substitution to litigation. A Judge adjudicates on the basis of what he decides, depending on the law. However, in mediation, parties come together to devise a solution that has to be legal, but primarily, desired.”
To demonstrate the two most important lessons of mediation, he conducted two interactive activities.
The first involved asking the participants to arm wrestle and the pair with the maximum number of touchdowns would be declared winner. In 60 seconds, we had a team with 15 touchdowns. The lesson being- learn how to collaborate. Don’t permit only friction to be created, by wrestling to win.
The second activity involved a participant, of convincing their partner to get up from where they’re seated and stand behind the other’s chair. Whoever succeeds in doing so first, wins.
Lesson being- identify and address the need and interests of the client, not their position. The incentive offered to the person standing behind the chair is the determinant of your success as a mediator.
The most important tip being, to never fight on money, as, it is simply a reflection of position, not interest.
He went on to outline the 4 parts in which a mediation session is divided:
1. Opening Statement– Delivered by the mediator and the only uninterrupted time granted to create a lasting impression on the adjudicator.
2. Joint Session– Where both parties in dispute, talk to the mediators.
3. Caucus– A private session between the mediator and client, where the confidential information is to be extracted by asking why, when and how.
4. Post Caucus Session– Mediators are given time to discuss and analyze what the interest of the clients was, in private.
He laid down the BADGER rule to be kept in mind while conducting a mediation session.
- Begin the discussion,
- Accumulate the information,
- Develop agenda (with mediator always summarizing issues of the parties),
- Generate movement towards solution,
- Escape session and
- Form Resolve.
The 3 kinds of questioning techniques to be followed for a successful mediation session, include:
1. Checking/Clarifying questions– “Am I right in thinking, this is what you said?”
2. Future Focus questions– “What are you looking for?” “What do you want to achieve out of this session, today?”
3. Reality Testing questions– “Is this solution okay for you?”; if parties are legally bound to disclose information they aren’t revealing, ask “What would occur if this matter went to court?”
He concluded by congratulating the participants for “not choosing a conventional moot, considering how there is increased focus on mediation. Mediation is the future” of dispute settlement.