Since the need for social distancing emerged in 2020, many mediation practitioners and users quickly adapted to the virtual mediation process with success; however, challenges in managing disputes via videoconferencing platforms also emerged. In an article for New York Law Journal, Partner Peter A. Halprin and Giulio Zanolla of Zanolla Mediation, discuss the challenges, such as adapting to technology and logistical issues, concerns regarding the effectiveness of online mediation, and mediation processes and outcomes can be improved in the future.

Halprin and Zanolla suggest that at a minimum, mediators, parties, and counsel should look to virtual mediation as a tool in their dispute resolution arsenal that undeniably increases flexibility and reduces cost. Moreover, depending upon the nature of a dispute and the needs of the parties, a combination of virtual and in-person processes can be used to get the benefits of both worlds.

The authors write: “most of what is true for in-person mediation remains true in the virtual context” and “experienced advocates and ADR professionals understand that preparation is a critical element in any successful mediation.”

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