Eleven Tips to Improve Employment Mediation: Valuable Advice for Counsel Representing Employees and Employers - Chapter 13 - AAA Handbook on Employment Arbitration and ADR - Third Edition
Rosemary A. Townley
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Rosemary A. Townley is a full-time arbitrator and mediator based in the New York City area and was a former adjunct Professor of law St. John's University Law School. She is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators Board of Governors and the AAA's National Employment, Labor, Commercial and Int'l Tribunals. She is also the past Chair of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the New York State Bar Association and serves on its Executive Committee. Ms. Townley is a contributing author to HOW ADR WORKS (BNA, 2002).
Anticipate the receipt of a written “Mediation Agreement” from the mediator prior to the start of discussions. In order to ensure the confidentiality of the process, mediators often request that parties “sign off” on an written agreement that would include the following provisions: (1) that they understand the mediation process is a confidential one and thus discussions and documents disclosed during the session are to be regarded as confidential; (2) that the mediator enjoys immunity and cannot be subpoenaed by either party to testify in a subsequent proceeding with respect to the matters discussed during the mediation; (3) that all participants are to sign the confidentiality agreement addendum page if they appear at the session; (4) that the mediator likely will request a position statement highlighting the areas in dispute from counsel and hold a pre-mediation teleconference to discuss these major issues, as well as related matters.