Online Mediation Services FAQs

What video conferencing program do we use and why?

We use Zoom. As a result of Covid-19; we enrolled and were trained extensively by a Nationally Renown online mediation expert, Susan Guthrie.

She has been using Zoom for a number of years and has found it has the capabilities and functions that allow her to do anything she would have done in person. We AGREE!

Zoom requires a password.  It also allows the mediator to be the Host, controlling the functionality and ensuring confidentiality with Zoom for all participants.

Is Zoom the only program we need?

For the most part, yes.  We also use Dropbox, PayPal, and DocuSign

What equipment is needed to conduct an online mediation?

Mediator Equipment: Secure internet connection via ethernet line to desktop computer with camera, microphone, speakers and lighting.

Participant Equipment: All one really needs is a laptop, smartphone, or tablet equipped with a microphone, camera and speakers.  And for safe measure have backups, i.e. iPad or smartphone if you are using a computer. If participant does not have video capabilities, dial-in numbers are provided for audio only participation.

What is the biggest problem we have seen for online mediations?

We see losses of internet connection. Hoerster Mediation has taken the extra step of securing ethernet lines; and have chosen the highest level of internet speed available from our provider.

What is the biggest difference between an in-person and online mediation?

The participants will perceive they don’t have the same control as a “live mediation”. It is up to the mediator to instill confidence by educating their participants, set the tone and expectations in advance of the session.

The Hoerster Mediation Firm will do this and much, much more.

How do we review documents or write on a white board in an online mediation?

Zoom has a “share screen” function which the HOST can activate/deactivate. When activated it allows the participants to view documents, programs and Zoom’s white board with just a few simple clicks.  These functions are an improved function which live mediations do not offer.

Will the mediation session be recorded?

Absolutely NOT! As the host for our mediations, we will always turn this function off. 

We also have an “agreement to mediate” that makes it clear we will not, under any circumstances, record the session nor will the participants.

This provides an extra layer of protection that often times “in person” mediations do not.

How does The Hoerster Mediation Firm handle breakout rooms?

We handle this with one of Zoom’s best features.  Zoom allows the Host to create up to 50 separate breakout rooms per session which they can populate with the participants in any desired combination that the mediator as Host, can choose.

The mediator has total control who can enter the breakout rooms. The breakout rooms are entirely separate video meetings .