Top 21 Benefits of Virtual Mediation

By Eric Galton

Lakeside Mediation Center

  1. More true decision-makers available in virtual space.  Because logistical and travel issues are avoided, more decision-makers with authority to settle may appear at a virtual mediation, greatly enhancing chances for settlement.
  2. Dramatic cost savings by eliminating expenses of airfare, hotels, parking, and other costs. 
  3. Management and saving of resources because participants do not have to leave their offices and/or homes.
  4. Scheduling a mediation is much easier because of the logistical benefits of virtual mediation. 
  5. Preliminary national data indicates that settlement rates are the same, and maybe slightly higher in virtual space as opposed to in-person mediation. 
  6. Parties and counsel may focus on other business or personal matters while the mediator is meeting with the others, resulting in greater productivity during the course of a lengthy mediation. 
  7. Virtual mediation eliminates any health risks during spikes in COVID and flu infection rates, year-round. 
  8. Parties feel safer and more relaxed joining a virtual mediation from their home or office, allowing them to be more engaged with the process and the mediator. 
  9. Artificial time constraints are avoided in virtual space because most parties and counsel join from their personal locations and do not have to catch airplanes, contend with traffic or be concerned with childcare.
  10. Legal counsel may focus on other urgent matters while the mediator is spending extended time with the other participants.  
  11. Parties and counsel are consistently more civil in tone and demeanor in virtual space, creating a more favorable settlement environment. 
  12. Virtual mediation may be recessed without the high costs and inconvenience of travel if several hours of mediation reveals more work needs to be done before a matter can be resolved. Participants feel less deflated if the matter is not fully resolved and are likely more willing to return to virtual space to continue the dialogue.
  13. Mediation participants between the ages of 18-50 are especially comfortable with the technology they have grown up with since childhood. 
  14. The Screenshare ability to collectively look at documents, photos, or events in real time in virtual mediation is a great benefit for all participants. 
  15. Parties and counsel can be easily moved into different room configurations in virtual space with great ease and less stress. 
  16. Mediators have learned how to fully engage counsel and parties in virtual space as they have grown more familiar with the technology.
  17. Initial studies reflect high party satisfaction with virtual mediation and find it more efficient, logistically easier and less stressful.
  18. Recent studies suggest the successful efficacy of virtual mediation, even in high emotion cases, such as the EEOC study of the effectiveness of virtual mediation in sexual harassment disputes.
  19. Virtual mediation will remain an entirely safe and swift method of resolving disputes should COVID spikes create greater safety restrictions. 
  20. Virtual mediation addresses the judicial backlog of long-standing conflicts in an expedient and satisfactory manner.
  21. Responsibility for creating a safe environment is eliminated, and the mediator does not have to worry about their mediation becoming a super-spreader event.