It is important to explain the difference between open and closed mediation. Closed mediation, which is the only kind of mediation we provide at Riverdale Mediation, is an off-the-record, confidential process of dialogue and negotiation. It cannot be used to prejudice any person involved in the mediation. What is said and offered in closed mediation is kept off the record in any court proceedings. The purpose of closed mediation is to enable the parties to the dispute to have a full and honest discussion about their options without being afraid that what they way might be used against them in court.
In open mediation, the parties empower the mediator to make some kind of report back to the court about what happened in mediation. There are different forms and degrees of open mediation, and different mediators may interpret their jurisdiction differently.
It is important that everyone in a mediation understand the kind of process they are entering and that they sign an Agreement to Mediate that reflects those terms.