Tips For First Appearances

ADR Chambers Response to COVID-19

The last few weeks have caused significant disruption to the way we help our family law clients and this situation is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. But this does not have to mean that we cannot continue to assist our clients resolve their disputes efficiently, economically and with as little emotional distress as possible.

Like most of you, and your clients, I have had to work out ways in which I can continue to deliver my primary dispute resolution service online. Over the last few days I have been using Zoom videoconferencing in my mediations as well as the more traditional telephone conferencing mediums to continue conducting those mediations.

Zoom videoconferencing allows me to establish virtual breakout rooms for you and your client to participate in an online mediation efficiently and safely. This functionality operates in much the same way as a shuttle mediation can be co-ordinated as if we were physically all in the same building. 

It also allows for legal representatives to collaborate separately from their clients and with me, and for me to have discussions with you and your client privately. Zoom also allows for online collaboration upon documentation which in some cases has been far more efficient. 

Changes to my usual Mediation Agreement have been made to ensure confidentiality and privacy are maintained through a video-conferencing mediation.

Teams videoconferencing appears to be the platform the Courts may be adopting and I will be adopting that platform as well for the purposes of conducting arbitrations. 

With the COVID-19 virus creating new and urgent challenges for parents navigating existing parenting arrangements or attempting to negotiate new parenting arrangements, I have established a  Fastrak Online ADR Service. At a fraction of my usual mediation fee, this service guides them through online information about parenting obligations, mediation processes and assists them with documenting any agreement that might be reached. Of course, as a FDRP, I can issue a s60I certificate at the conclusion. 

This service is ready to go now - book here. (Select "Family Dispute Resolution" then "Fast Track ADR")

With many of these mediations now involving videoconferencing you or your client may feel uncomfortable or nervous about using these platforms. 

But there is no need to be. 

When you schedule any mediation or arbitration with me, I provide you and your client with useful links to Step-by-Step guides that I have developed specific to my services and also provide links to general help guides for those specific platforms in use.

I can also make time for you and/or your client to have a test run with me so that you can both be comfortable using Zoom videoconferencing, making sure it works on your system, and observing how I can use the break out room facility for private conversations. 

As always, I am here to help you where-ever I can.

Stay safe. Stay distanced. Stay working. 

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