First the parties contact the Halacha Institute of Toronto either by phone at (416) 535-8008 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. After an initial conversation with H.I.T.’s Halachic Administrator, the parties can confirm that they would like to proceed. The parties will receive a Mediation Agreement that will outline the terms and conditions of the mediation.
The parties will select their desired Rabbinic mediator from our roster of certified mediators. If the parties feel more comfortable with two mediators, a co-mediation will be scheduled.
Prior to the mediation date, the mediator may or may not wish to speak with the parties individually to prepare for the mediation. Should the parties desire, they may submit written materials to the mediators in advance of the mediation.
The parties may bring a friend, family member or legal representative to the mediation should they feel it necessary. But for the mediation to be successful, it is important that the parties attending the mediation have the authority to resolve the dispute.
When the parties arrive at the mediation, the Rabbi will make some opening remarks and then allow each side the opportunity to outline their case. The Rabbi will work with each party to ensure that the facts are represented accurately. It is important that neither side interrupt the other when presenting their respective case to allow for each side’s facts to be presented fairly and accurately.
Once the facts are understood, the Rabbi will distill the case into its major issues and then he will begin to engage the parties to come up with various options that may resolve the dispute. At this point, the Rabbi may employ in something called “caucusing”, namely, speaking with the parties separately in confidence in order to flesh out the various options in more detail.
After the caucus phase, the Rabbi will help facilitate some options that could settle the case. The parties themselves, either sitting in caucus or together, will be able to choose if any of the options are agreeable to them.
If the parties come to an agreement, a document called Minutes of Settlement will be drafted that will spell out the specific terms of the agreement. The Minutes of Settlement is a legally binding agreement carrying the full weight of civil and Jewish law.