By Kriti Sharma & Shubham Verma, VI Semester, RMLNLU
The second Orientation and Training Session in the III RMLNLU National Mediation Competition 2017 was conducted by Mr. Thomas Valenti in an online interaction at 17:30 hours, 17 February 2017. Founder of Valenti Law, provider of Facilitative, Elicitive and Transformative Mediation services, besides Arbitration and Facilitation, he is a conflict resolution specialist.
His session began with him declaring his intention to talk to all participants about “efficacy in mediation.”
Presenting us with a Power Point Presentation, he broke down the Training Outline into 3 stages:
- Opening Statement of Attorney
- Caucus between Attorney and Client
- Conference by Attorney
while also, reminding us to never forget about Strategy and Teamwork.
1. Opening Statements are to be marked by “set(ting) the tone to be looking forward and not looking at elements of the dispute, towards creating a solution.”
A mediator must choose to make their statement exhaustive, thematic, empathetic, creative, persuasive, high energy and most importantly, personal.
There must be presentation of facts and not law, facts being most important in any mediation. Give a chance to your client to tell you their story.
He further elaborated upon the language of the opening statement to be aimed at building trust. “Describe what mediation is. Discuss the process of mediation. Discuss the role of the mediator.”
2. Caucuses with attorney are essential for determining the strengths and weaknesses of one’s case.
It’s the time to extract confidential information with the aim of arriving at determining the needs and interests of the parties.
For the clients to reveal confidential information, the mediators must ask open-ended questions like “can you share some information about how this dispute started?”
However, there must be no cross-examination of the client.
The mediator must keep summarizing the issues so the client may feel understood.
3. Conference is the chance for mediators to talk directly to the other side and must be marked by sincerity. Using eye contact to establish a connection with one’s clients and empathizing with them, are important traits of a successful mediation.
The Advocacy Training session was marked by remembering Strategy, for example, remind yourself of where you’re going with your line of questioning and if it leads to where you want to end up at.
There must be exchange of confidential information.
A winning strategy is to retaliate if the other side is competitive and forgive if the other side is cooperative. There is a need to be clear and consistent in one’s approach and yet remain, flexible.
Teamwork between parties and mediators is what will lead to “the successful end.”