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Thoughts on how to settle disputes and resolve complex situations.

What Does Mediation Look Like Now?

Two months ago we all had to adapt in ways we never imagined, and many of us accomplished things we didn’t anticiFpate as March began — with automating our office processes and teaching others how to use Zoom for mediation near the top of our list.  With some clients and counsel returning to face-to-face meetings, is it time for business as usual?  Not yet, and not likely for some time to come.

Here at the DeGroote Partners Mediation Center in Dallas’s Deep Ellum mediation hub, our upcoming mediations are — literally — all over the map, from mediations in other cities to video mediations to (small) in-person mediations where some will participate by Zoom and others will participate in person.

For those who are coming to our office, we have long enjoyed the fact that we don’t have elevators and we have easy access to outdoor seating areas, and that’s more true now than ever before.  In addition to those “accidental” amenities, this is what the experience will look like:

Our Approach to Distance

  • Mediations will be smaller — the number of in-person participants will be limited so that everyone can maintain a safe social distance at all times within and outside our conference rooms;
  • Participation by video will remain an option for some time to come — whether for one side or a few participants;
  • Case start times will be staggered so there should be no crowd of people waiting to be checked in;

Conference Rooms

  • Your conference room:
    • Will have lots of open space, as we don’t plan to host groups in our smaller conference rooms for a while yet;
    • Will have one or more Dyson Air Purifiers with HEPA Filters;
    • Will be cleared of fidget spinners, pens, pads, and other items;
    • Will have easy access to tissues and hand sanitizer;
Dyson Air Purifiers with HEPA Filters

Additional Changes

  • You’ll be greeted by team members (including a mediator) who have completed online training for new workplace hygiene behaviors and practices;
  • Your mediator and mediation staff will have their temperatures taken before the workday begins – with a commitment that they’ll leave if they have a temperature;
  • Masks will be made available to all participants;
  • Each of our two large conference rooms will have access to its own kitchen, and our staff will remain available to bring food, beverages, and snacks to you;
  • Lunch will be provided in individually-packaged servings with individually-wrapped silverware;

Cleanup

  • All countertops, handles, switches, and other accessible surfaces, including those in our restrooms, will be wiped down repeatedly with disinfectant throughout the day; and
  • At the conclusion of each mediation, all tables, chairs and other surfaces will be thoroughly sanitized.

With these changes, we hope everyone understands that your safety is important to us – just as getting your deal done is.  When you’re ready to discuss your next mediation, please don’t hesitate to call so we can discuss how to approach it in greater detail.

We look forward to seeing you in person, or on video, soon.

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