John Vohralik a Nationally Accredited Mediator offers a commercial mediation service to companies and individuals who are committed to resolving their disputes rationally by mediation. John has over 35 years of experience as a commercial litigator and understands the virtues of mediation to resolve commercial disputes cost effectively, whether pre-litigation or during the litigation process.
For further details, view John Vohralik’s resume or visit his LinkedIn profile
“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity”
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“A deal done is better than a deal not done”
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a confidential non-adversarial process which assists parties to resolve disputes by appointing an independent mediator to identify and discuss the issues in dispute, examine options to resolve those issues and seek to resolve the dispute. The parties and mediator enter into an agreement that sets out the objectives and process to be followed.
What does a mediation session involve?
In most mediations, after the parties have entered into a mediation agreement with the mediator, the mediator will, in consultation with the parties, propose directions to prepare for the mediation. These directions generally involve the parties exchanging relevant documents and short statements setting out the issues and how they wish to resolve the dispute. In more complex matters, it may be necessary to address factual, expert and legal issues in some detail. It may be appropriate for experts to be involved (for example, engineers in a building dispute). During the mediation session, the mediator invites each party to present its opening statement, which ideally will address the issues and outcomes they would like to achieve. These discussions are usually held with all parties (and their advisors) in the same room. The mediator controls the discussion process and assists the parties to isolate the issues and then discuss options to resolve those issues. On occasions, the mediator will invite the parties to have separate, private sessions with the mediator, and may thereafter convene a further joint process. The purpose of the private session is to enable the mediator to learn more about a party’s concerns. Discussions in a private session with the mediator will not be disclosed to any other party involved in the mediation unless the mediator is expressly authorised to disclose those matters. If the parties reach agreement, the parties will be directed to prepare a written agreement. On occasions, due to the complexity of a matter, it may be necessary to involve solicitors to assist parties to document a binding settlement agreement.
Is mediation confidential?
Yes, mediation is a confidential process. Subject to some exceptions, documents prepared for a mediation and discussions held during mediation sessions are confidential and may not be used as evidence in subsequent Court proceedings.
Can I mediate online or over the telephone or by video link?
Yes. Vohralik Mediation is able to negotiate a flexible and speedy online mediation process. This can be arranged via email, telephone conference calls or video link arranged by the parties. Subject to agreement being reached with the parties, Vohralik Mediation offers mediation using an online biding system in which each party is invited to submit, privately to the mediator, a settlement proposal. The mediator will then facilitate a process inviting a response offer. When the parties’ offers overlap the matter will have reached settlement at the midpoint between each party’s respective overlapping offer.
Is mediation compulsory?
For certain types of disputes (for example franchising disputes and retail tenancy disputes) mediation is required to be engaged in prior to commencing proceedings. However, for most types of civil disputes mediation is a completely voluntary process. Many Courts and Tribunals have the power to order parties to participate in a mediation, which usually occurs before a final hearing is fixed.
What are the advantages of mediation?
There are many advantages of mediation. Some of the main advantages of mediation are:
- the parties and the mediator control the process
- there is no requirement to give evidence and parties and their witnesses are not subject to cross examination
- mediation is far cheaper than a Court hearing or arbitration
- the mediation process is very efficient and can be organised within a few days of appointment of a mediator
- the settlement process is informal
- the parties and mediator control the duration of the mediation and make important decisions to manage and seek to resolve the dispute
- no Court or Tribunal imposed solution or judgment is forced upon the parties – the parties negotiate and find their own solution
- particularly in matters where continuing personal or business relationships are involved, solutions can often be negotiated in mediation which enhance or vary business or personal relationships
- where parties reach their own solution, unpredictable results or judgments do not arise
- you have ownership of your dispute and how to resolve it
When should I suggest a mediation?
Generally speaking, once the issues involved in a dispute are known, the best time to mediate is sooner, rather than later. When parties are entrenched in a dispute process (for example, costly and time consuming litigation) it can be far more difficult to discuss and resolve disputes. The great majority of disputes do not proceed to a final Court hearing and are resolved either prior to commencement of litigation or during the Court process. It is never too late to engage in a mediation.
What qualifications does a mediator need to have?
Many mediator panels in NSW have adopted the Australian National Mediator Accreditation Standard for their panel mediators. John Vohralik is a Nationally Accredited Mediator, has been a panel mediator with the Resolution Institute (formerly known as LEADR) for over 20 years and a panel mediator on the Law Society of NSW Panel of Mediators for many years. John Vohralik is also a qualified Solicitor who has practiced predominately in the commercial litigation field in private legal practice for over 30 years. He maintains the highest level of professionalism and integrity in the delivery of his mediation service.
WORKING TOGETHER TO SOLVE DISPUTES
Working together with disputants to solve their disputes is the core service Vohralik Mediation provides. When a party accepts that another party may have a different view, the process of mutually solving a dispute can begin. Some compromise is usually required to reach a solution. However, accepting compromise to reach a solution can achieve a win/win result.