Business Mediation in the Time of Coronavirus: What You Need to Know
According to data provided by the Florida Department of Health, 22,519 cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) have been confirmed in the state as of April 15th. Unfortunately, the outbreak is far from over—many more cases are expected to emerge in the coming weeks.
The dangerous, deadly pandemic has affected most aspects of life in Florida, including business negotiations. If your company is involved in a negotiation or a dispute, business mediation may be the best option. Here is what you need to know about business mediation in the time of social distancing.
Virtual Mediation Can Still Be an Effective Solution
Even though parties cannot meet face to face, it is still possible to conduct an effective negotiation—including through a formal mediation. With the assistance of a virtual mediator, you can address and resolve disputes during the coronavirus outbreak.
As it is unclear as to how long social distancing requirements will remain in place in South Florida, companies involved in disputes should consider the viability of a virtual mediation. Although it is not exactly the same as meeting in person, modern technology makes virtual mediation a workable solution for many companies.
Remote Mediation May Require Additional Preparation
Virtual mediations are different—especially for those who have never participated in one before. To ensure that the mediation is as effective as possible, some additional preparation may be required.
Beyond ensuring that you are familiar with all of the commercial/legal issues that are at stake, it is also useful to take some time to get used to the technology. As an example, if the parties are planning on using the Zoom teleconference software, it is recommended that you take some time to get comfortable with the interface before the mediation starts.
Advance Information Sharing Facilitates Efficient Resolution
One of the biggest challenges of a virtual mediation is the sharing of information—specifically, important documents and records. It is strongly recommended that parties to a virtual business mediation put in some extra effort to share all relevant information prior to the start of the meeting.
You will want to make sure that everyone has access to the files/information that they need for the mediation to produce results. The last thing you want is for an otherwise fruitful mediation to get derailed because the parties are fumbling around, trying to share unformatted documents across platforms. The advance sharing of information can make a huge difference.
Of course, you need to be very careful when sharing documents and records on computer-based platforms. Make sure that confidential and otherwise sensitive information is only shared with the appropriate parties.
Call Our South Florida Business Mediation Lawyers for Immediate Help
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our West Palm Beach business litigation attorneys are focused and solutions-oriented representatives for our clients. We can assist you with a virtual mediation. Our firm is fully operational during the coronavirus outbreak. To schedule a remote initial consultation with a business lawyer, please contact us at our Miami office or our West Palm Beach office.