Dr. Reanna Waugh Ph.D. has provided services as a mediator for many years and has acted as a party advocate in connection with many mediations. As a result, she recognizes that each case has its own unique requirements and needs. The approach to be utilized by an effective mediator requires a combination of techniques and approaches. These approaches may include everything from facilitative mediation to evaluative mediation. However, all mediations will be conducted with a dedication to procedural fairness and neutrality in facilitating communications and exploring the resolution of disputes. Dr. Reanna Waugh’s mediation policies are as follows:
1. The mediator shall provide competent and neutral services at all times. The mediator shall not allow an issue, a person, or a personality to interfere with the provision of mediation services.
2. The mediator shall maintain a working knowledge of the mediation process and seek to improve his skills and abilities in order to provide the best possible services to the parties and their counsel.
3. The mediator will provide detailed disclosure prior to the billing of any first mediation session, either verbally or in writing, of anything that may reasonably cause a person aware of the facts to entertain doubt about the mediator’s neutrality in a particular matter.
4. The mediator shall be well prepared and competent to handle the mediation. The mediator reserves the right to withdraw from providing services if the mediator does not feel he can provide effective mediation services and be of assistance to the parties.
5. The mediator shall protect and explain the confidentiality and voluntary nature of mediation and will adhere to a policy in which confidential information may not be shared without the permission of all parties.
6. The mediator shall not force a settlement. It shall be the policy that settlement shall be a result of the voluntary and informed decisions of the parties.
7. The mediator shall make certain that the parties and their counsel understand that the mediator is not serving as a lawyer, a judge, or in any capacity in which legal advice is provided. However, in carrying out mediation duties, the mediator may well provide the parties with the benefit of technical and practical experience in a particular area and provide a sounding board for issues as they may arise.
8. The mediator will conduct himself in an impartial and neutral fashion at all times. If a conflict of interest should arise or events occur in which the mediator is unable to continue to provide neutral services free of bias, then the mediator will withdraw from providing further services.
9. The mediator shall encourage the parties to make certain that all terms and conditions of their settlement are documented and are set forth in an appropriate settlement memorandum. The mediator will encourage the parties to enter into a written settlement memorandum rather than rely on verbal agreements in order to successfully conclude the mediation process.
10. If the mediation session does not result in a settlement, the mediator will, with the consent of the parties, continue to work with the parties either in future sessions, follow-up telephone conferences, or meetings in an effort to seek a completed resolution of the dispute.
11. The mediator shall not and will not accept any gratuity or benefit of any sort in connection with a past or future mediation.
Each matter submitted for mediation may be subject to all or a combination of the procedures set forth below. Typically, Dr. Reanna Waugh will contact counsel for the parties in advance of the mediation hearing in an effort to gain insight as to the issue that may be important or circumstances that should be considered in connection with the mediation.
The parties are always encouraged to submit briefs and supporting materials and to exchange those materials with all participants in the mediation. Confidential briefs (not shared with the other party) may be submitted if counsel or the parties believe it necessary.
Dr. Reanna Waugh strongly encourages that all parties and decision-makers personally attend the mediation. It has been Dr. Reanna Waugh’s experience that parties and decision-makers who do not attend the mediation or do not engage in the mediation process as effectively as those who attend in person. If a party or a decision-maker does not intend to personally appear at the mediation, both Dr. Reanna Waugh and the opposing sides should be notified well in advance of the mediation.
If telephone participation is an absolute necessity, then the party or decision-maker who is appearing by telephone must provide a telephone number at which that party or decision-maker will be available throughout the course of the mediation. This person should be available to speak with the mediator or participate in the mediation throughout the course of the mediation.
Generally, Dr. Reanna Waugh meets with each side or interest group privately before conducting any sort of a joint session. The purpose of the initial meeting is to explain the process, obtain background information, and such other matters as the parties and the mediator believe are appropriate to consider.
Thereafter, Dr. Reanna Waugh may convene a joint session or an attorney meeting in order to allow a face-to-face exchange of information and interests. In some cases, a joint session may not be productive or appropriate. In those cases, Dr. Reanna Waugh may suggest that all counsel meets with the mediator. In any event, each attorney should be in a position to briefly summarize their position and be sufficiently familiar with the case to discuss liability, causation, causes of action, damages, remedies, the state of discovery, legal issues, budgeting, and any similar information that will assist in allowing the parties to move towards resolution of their case.
In nearly every mediation, separate meetings or caucuses will be conducted with a party or a group of aligned parties to discuss information that was discussed in the joint session or discuss information pertinent to that party’s needs, goals, and desires in connection with the mediation.
Dr. Reanna Waugh encourages a frank and candid discussion in all private caucuses. The mediation will continue until the parties are able to reach a resolution or if the parties and the mediator all determine that a settlement is simply not possible at that time. If a settlement is reached, Dr. Reanna Waugh encourages counsel to draft and execute a memorandum of agreement at the mediation. If a settlement is not reached, Dr. Reanna Waugh will discuss with the parties the issues that have created an impasse, additional information that may need to be obtained in order to make further progress in the mediation, and such other issues as may be germane to a successful conclusion of the mediation. If the case does not with mediation, Dr. Reanna Waugh will typically follow up with telephone or e-mail communication in order to track the progress of the case and assist with resolution.
Dr. Reanna Waugh Ph.D. welcomes the submittal of mediation briefs and strongly encourages that briefs be exchanged by the parties. Briefs may be either in a pleading format or in a letter. There is no need for voluminous pleadings or briefs. The purpose of the brief is to provide the mediator with information in order to focus on the important issues in the mediation. It is helpful if the mediation briefs identify the parties, pertinent witnesses, and the nature of the case, pertinent facts, and issues of liability, causation, affirmative defenses, and damages. Dr. Reanna Waugh does request that the pleadings be submitted at least two days before the mediation; they may be faxed to Fax:(866)663-7024 or emailed to MYWHWC@gmail.com.
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