In general terms, alternative dispute resolution or ADR is a process of facilitated negotiations that is an alternative to proceedings that are determined by a person or per- sons with delegated powers to make decisions such as a court or tribunal. There are many forms of ADR such as Online Dispute Resolution – ODR, Mediation, Conciliation, Early Evaluation and Arbitration. Although technically a form of ADR, Arbitration involves an expert in the area of the dispute, mutually agreed by the parties to make a determination. At Mediator Hub, we focus on offering mediation, because unlike many other forms of ADR, the process is led by a third party who is accredited and trained in accordance with the National Mediation Association Standards (NMAS) and is registered as a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner at the Attorney-General's Department. The mediator has no vested interest in the dispute. They are neutral and so they do not judge, evaluate or take sides during mediation. Our practitioners assists parties by facilitating discussion about the issues and will adopt a model designed to focus on the future of the parties and the resolution of the dispute.
The simple answer is no, however in some cases parties may wish to engage a lawyer to provide them with legal advice throughout the process. A mediator is impartial at all times and this means they cannot ethically provide the parties with independent legal advice even if they are a lawyer. If you decide that it is best for your lawyer or another professional advisor to attend mediation each party pays for their own associated costs.