Sometimes mediations may be conducted by telephone rather than in face to face meetings.  This may take place:
  • if the parties live far apart from each other;
  • following face to face mediations which have been adjourned;
  • to save costs; and 
  • in the Small Claims Court Mediation Scheme.
As with face to face mediations, the mediator will usually hold separate pre-mediation discussions with the parties by telephone.  

A telephone conference call may take the place of a joint meeting.  However, certainly with the Small Claims Court Mediation Scheme, this is unlikely to occur.

Separate discussions will frequently be needed with the parties, in which case the mediator will ring each party privately.

If an agreement is reached, the mediator may arrange a joint telephone conference call.  Again this is unlikely to occur with the Small Claims Court Mediation Scheme.

It is often possible for the parties to record and sign a written agreement using fax or email before the mediation ends.

The Jackson ADR Handbook (S Blake, J Browne and S Sime) helpfully addresses telephone mediation (and online mediation) in Chapter 15.