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Online Dispute Resolution

David Gould Mediation is happy to offer online mediation services.

Our primary video conferencing service is Zoom, as we feel it offers the highest functionality and security for conducting online mediation where confidentiality, efficiency and clear communication are key. However, if you or your clients are more comfortable with another program, such as Microsoft Teams, Google Meets, or any other app, we can certainly accommodate those as well. Just let us know which you prefer.

New to Zoom? No problem

Our technical specialist will provide real time assistance every step of the way, from downloading and installing Zoom to optimizing your settings so that the mediation process runs as smooth as possible.

Pre-meeting training and technical rehearsals will be made available at your convenience, so you feel comfortable and confident heading into the meeting. Our specialist will be there to provide real-time support so that no technical problems hinder the mediation process. All meetings are password protected and completely confidential.

Step by Step Guide of the Online Mediation Process

Step 1) If you already have a ZOOM account, simply accept the invite you receive in the mail. If not, you can sign up and download ZOOM for free from their website here: https://zoom.us/

Step 2) Once you have your ZOOM account and program ready to go, we can conduct a 1 on 1 meeting (through ZOOM) to ensure audio and video settings are optimized. Again, we will email you an invite and all you have to do is accept and launch the ZOOM app. This may include adjusting the camera placement and background to minimize distraction during the mediation.

Step 3) After all the settings are properly adjusted, we will assist you in getting familiar with the ZOOM features such as hand raising, text chat and splitting into ‘virtual breakout rooms’ in case the mediation requires it. 

If you require further assistance or just want a refresher before the mediation, another training session can be scheduled by contacting us at david@davidgouldmediation.com

Step 4) We recommend all parties participate in a technical rehearsal to ensure communication is clear and the actual mediation process is as seamless as possible.

Step 5) Once all parties feel comfortable using ZOOM, a date for the mediation will be set and an email invite will be sent out to all participants via email. Simply accept the invite and launch the ZOOM app.

Step 6) During the mediation, the technical specialist will be on hand to facilitate the transfer of documents if required, and to troubleshoot any issues and help participants if they require assistance – simply raise your hand if you run into a problem. This specialist will be signatory of the confidentiality agreement.

If there is an alternative video conferencing program agreed upon by the parties involved, we will gladly provide a similar step-by-step process for those who require it.

Online vs. In-Person Mediation

Once a video conferencing program has been chosen, there a few key differences between face-to-face and online mediations – in addition to the steps mentioned above— that you should be aware of.

  • Even with on hand technical support, it is possible for entire systems to crash. As the hosts of online meeting, David Gould Mediation will have back up devices ready so that the mediation can continue without too great of an interruption. Should a participant’s device stop working, its important that they have another device to connect to the meeting. A smart phone can easily serve this purpose, though there are some limitations to this, so another PC is preferred. The meeting can then be re-joined by clicking on the original invitation, and it can be resent if need be. There is also a land-line number, found in the Zoom invitation, that can be called if not smart device is available
  • If all the options listed above fail, then the mediation will be rescheduled for a later date.
  • Zoom and many other video conferencing services have a chat feature. This can be used to send private messages between participants quickly should the mediation require it.
  • All participants will sign a confidentiality agreement, including the technical specialist. In addition to this, a preliminary discussion will be held about the possibility of a roommate/family member entering the same room as one of the participants. While we ask that participants do their best to maintain privacy during the video call, but this is not always a guarantee. A plan of action will then be agreed upon by all parties should such an incident occur.

If you have any questions or concerns about this process, please do not hesitate to contact us at 403-801-0234 or at david@davidgouldmediation.com