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Online Video Conferencing Allows for Virtual Mediation Amid COVID-19 Crisis

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April 14, 2020

Grand Rapids, Mich. – The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) social distancing protocols have and will continue to change the way professionals conduct business for some time into the future. Working remotely is rapidly becoming the new norm in most industries.

Social distancing is particularly challenging for attorneys in litigation settlement discussions that must take place in the course of facilitative mediation. Although there is no substitute for "being in the same room", video-enabled conferencing platforms are bringing a new dimension to the ability to communicate online and therefore, work remotely.

Among the individuals to adapt to using video-assisted Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is Foster Swift litigator and mediator Frederick D. Dilley. Using this technology allows for full-day mediation of  cases with litigants and counsel "remoting in" from multiple locations. This includes the ability for the participants to have joint sessions, go into private caucuses in virtual breakout rooms for conferences with the mediator or with other individuals, as well as to share documents and other written material, all in the video conferencing format.

One of the most trusted online conferencing platforms to host virtual mediations is Zoom: (https://www.Zoom.US). All participants need in order to use this program are:

  • WiFi internet connection,
  • a computer or WiFi enabled mobile device,
  • and the Zoom App, which is available from the App Store or through the Zoom website.

Today's technology has enabled online mediation and remote ADR so that professionals can work with their clients regardless of their geographical locations. In addition, without the need for travel time, scheduling difficulties are greatly reduced. Remote ADR allows for attorneys to easily integrate the online platform into their existing litigation practice and to greatly increase their availability as well as that of their clients.

If you would like more information about remote ADR or video conference assisted mediation, please contact Dilley at fdilley@fosterswift.com or 616-726-2247.