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ZOOM Mediations Playing Significant Role in Legal Negotiations during COVID-19 Outbreak

Wednesday, April, 8, 2020


More and more people are turning to ZOOM virtual conferencing to deal with legal negotiations and continue with mediations during the coronavirus outbreak.


The online conferencing tool allows people to complete their negotiations while still observing social distancing restrictions and be able to move their cases as forward as possible while courtrooms across the country are closed.


As of the middle of March, high numbers of lawyers and mediators understood their upcoming scheduled mediations would need to be postponed or they would need to find a creative way for them to carry on.  Zoom and other video conferencing services allow for mediation sessions to continue without having anyone meet in person.  Participants can hear and see one another from their remote locations, as well as to caucus privately with the mediator in the same manner.


Online mediation is nothing new.  It has been in use occasionally for years, but it was not until the current health pandemic that large numbers of people began taking advantage of the service.  It makes resolving disputes through mediation even more convenient than it already was for those involved in legal battles.


Despite the long-term existence of mediation, the current situation left many lawyers and mediators shuffling to figure out how to use the virtual conferencing tools and to teach their clients how to do so as well.  Not everyone can participate in a virtual conference, but enough people do to prevent courts from getting too backlogged for the time being.