Virtual Mediation

Notes on Communications and Virtual Meetings of CAM-CCBC’s Mediation

Virtual Mediation

 

Notes on Communications and Virtual Meetings of CAM-CCBC’s Mediation

In view of the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the CAM CCBC is now conducting all of the proceedings under its administration 100% remotely [1], maintaining the usual excellence and efficiency of its services.

For this purpose and based on article 2.6 (c) and (f) of its Rules, Administrative Resolution No. 39/2020 was issued, followed by Resolution No. 40/2020, whereby, until otherwise decided, it was determined the management and performance of procedures solely by electronic means, using tools that enable safe and effective communications, meetings and hearings.

Since the current Mediation Rules [2] are compatible with virtual mediation proceedings, the regulatory provisions are maintained for all purposes and, as such, any ongoing mediation proceedings shall be conducted solely through electronic means. Any exceptional requests require justifications and shall be studied and decided upon by the CAM-CCBC General Secretariat.

Furthermore, the mediation procedures initiated during the term of Administrative Resolution No. 40/2020 will also, as a rule, be conducted in an exclusively virtual manner.

Later on, when in-person activities are resumed at the CAM-CCBC headquarters, adherence to the virtual mediation proceedings hereby established will become optional.

Thus, CAM-CCBC publishes the following Notes on Virtual Communications and Meetings, with the objective of presenting clarifications and recommendations to the parties, attorneys, mediators and other Participants in the mediation proceedings administered by CAM-CCBC [3],

which is accompanied by two Attachments that are part of it.

  1. Preliminary technical issues

 1.1. All communications mentioned in the Mediation Rules must be conducted electronically, including those related to the presentation of the Mediation Request (article 1.1) and the call for the preliminary meeting (article 2.1).

 1.2. The protocol to request the initiation of a new mediation proceeding accompanied by attached documents, shall be sent by email to [email protected]. If necessary, the General Secretariat of the CAM-CCBC may provide a link for document uploads.

 1.3. The protocol to request the initiation of a new mediation proceeding accompanied by attached documents, shall be sent by email to [email protected]. If necessary, the General Secretariat of the CAM-CCBC may provide a link for document uploads:

 (i) the preliminary meetings referred to in articles 2.1 to 2.4 of the Mediation Rules;

(ii) the meeting to sign the Terms of Reference, referred to in Article 5.1 of the Mediation Rules; and

(iii) joint and individual meetings of the mediator with the Participants, provided in article 6.1 of the Mediation Rules.

1.3.1. Participants [4] of the Virtual Meetings must have a minimum technical equipment that allows the works to be carried out without complications and in a satisfactory manner, ensuring full and equal communication between the Parties [5].

1.4. For the purposes of providing support prior to and in the course of the Virtual Meetings, an IT technician from the CAM-CCBC will accompany the occasion from start to finish, for prompt assistance in case any technical issues arise.

1.5. For Virtual Meetings, the CAM-CCBC provides the use of third-party platforms, subject to their respective terms and conditions, which must be analyzed and agreed upon in advance by the Participants.

1.5.1. The CAM-CCBC ratified the use of Microsoft Teams and Zoom, but is not responsible for the use, security or availability of these platforms.

1.5.2. If the use of another platform is mutually required by the Participants, the CAM-CCBC Secretariat must be informed in advance and in a timely manner so that the desired platform is analyzed, approved and ratified.

1.6. The Secretariat is trained to conduct Virtual Meetings on both of the aforementioned platforms and will act, unless otherwise determined, as host for the purposes of: scheduling, sending access links, managing access permissions on the platform (waiting rooms), managing waiting room and permission to enter the room for individual caucus meetings, eventually excluding Participants, as well as establishing communication with the CAM-CCBC IT technician.

  1. Virtual meeting planning

 2.1. The Mediator will consult the parties and decide on the necessity of the Virtual Meetings and will inform the Secretariat about the virtual platform [6] that will be used, providing information and technical subsidies to support this decision, with due regard for the issues addressed in items 1.4 and 1.5.

2.2. Once the virtual platform has been chosen, the Secretariat will ask the Parties and/or their respective attorneys to inform the full names of the Participants and the electronic addresses that should receive the access link, in order to send the invites for the realization of the test prior to the date of the Virtual Meeting, which is essential to its good progress, allowing for testing on compatibility, equipment performance and connection of the Participants to be carried out.

2.3. The tests shall be monitored by the Case Manager in charge of the proceeding and by the CAM-CCBC IT technician.

2.4. After carrying out the tests, the Secretariat will send the invite for the Virtual Meeting, via e-mail, to all Participants, through which access will be granted with sound and/or video. During the meeting, it will also be possible to project documents and presentations using screen sharing.

2.5. It is the responsibility of the Parties’ counsel to inform the Secretariat of the electronic addresses of all Participants, so that information regarding the Virtual Meeting is sent to them. It is also the responsibility of the Parties’ counsel to inform the Secretariat and the Mediator in advance of other participants and any third parties who will be physically in the same location as another Participant.

2.6. The Secretariat will forward to the Mediator the list of persons who will take part in the Virtual Meeting, duly accompanied by the electronic addresses (“List of Participants”).

  1. Virtual meeting

3.1. On the day designated for the Virtual Meeting, all Participants must access the platform at least 30 (thirty) minutes before the scheduled time for the start of the works, in order to ensure the last test of equipment operation and the verification of other technical issues [7].

 3.2. At the beginning of the Meeting, it is suggested that the Mediator, in possession of the List of Participants, confirms attendance of everyone listed and that, in their opening statement, they explain to the Participants the dynamics of the virtual session and establish some rules and make themselves available for clarification on any difficulties in handling the platform.

3.2.1. If required, the case manager and the CAM-CCBC technical staff may contribute providing clarifications, such as:

(a) Participants may not record mediation sessions by any means, including audio, video or digital;

(b) Participants must, at the beginning of each virtual session, identify the names of all persons who will participate in the meeting, ensuring that unidentified third parties do not have access to the content of the meeting (visual or auditory);

(c) Participants must undertake not to access the other party’s private session (caucus) and not to use a document or evidence, the access of which has not been authorized. Any complication in this regard should, in the name of good faith, be notified to the Mediator as soon as it occurs.

(d) Participants undertake to access the platform in a reserved place, free of external noise and people external to the Mediation, avoiding public places.

3.3. At any time in the course of the Virtual Meeting, the Mediator, by their own deliberation or at the request of the parties’ counsel, may ask the Participants to show the physical environment in which they find themselves (360º rotation) in order to verify and confirm the people present at the site.

3.3.1 If the Virtual Meeting is accessed by anyone who is not on the Participant List, this fact must be immediately reported to the Mediator. The Mediator must also be informed if any person who is not on the Participant List is in the same physical environment as any of the Participants.

3.4. Any slide shows and/or documents to be viewed in the course of the Virtual Meeting must be displayed by the interested party through the screen sharing feature available on the platform.

3.5. For greater clarity in the communications, each speaker must wait for the previous speaker to finish.

3.6. For individual meetings (caucus), the Secretariat, as the event’s host, will be responsible for giving access to the individual Virtual Meeting room, sending the respective links to those who must access them. Likewise, the Secretariat will promote the Participants’ exit from the individual Virtual Meeting room, as the meeting ends.

3.7. If there is any type of technical error or complication, the Mediator may suspend the Virtual Meeting, establishing by mutual agreement between the Participants its resumption on the same day or on a new date.

ANNEX I – Suggestions to Participants in virtual meetings

✓ Stay in a reserved place, with minimum external noise, without access by third parties;

✓ Place the camera so that it is possible to clearly see your face, ensuring proper interaction between Participants;

✓ Use a screen large enough so that any projected documents can be easily read;

✓ Be prepared to show the environment in which you are located, if so determined by the Mediator;

✓ When accessing the Virtual Meeting room, Participants undertake not to use any recording devices;

✓ In case of doubts, contact the Case Manager in charge [8];

✓ Access the Virtual Meeting room at least 30 minutes in advance so that any technical adjustments may be performed;

✓ Identify yourself when entering the Virtual Meeting room with your full name and in what capacity you are participating;

✓ Keep your video on throughout the Virtual Meeting;

✓ Keep your microphone muted when you are not speaking;

✓ Wait for your predecessor’s speech to end before performing any intervention.

ANNEX II – Technical requirements

The virtual platforms used by CAM-CCBC to hold Virtual Meetings (Microsoft Teams and Zoom) are third-party tools for communication by sound and video with the ability to gather several people in the same virtual meeting.

These tools were analyzed by the CAM-CCBC IT team and were approved for use considering the users’ familiarity, usability, security levels provided, in addition to the essential technical requirements for holding a Virtual Meeting, such as the possibility of access to Participants’ video and audio, sharing screens for projecting presentations and documents, chatting between Participants, among others.

The use of such platforms is subject to their respective terms and conditions, which must be analyzed and agreed upon in advance by the Participants. CAM-CCBC approved the use of Microsoft Teams and/or Zoom, but is not responsible for the use, security and or availability of these platforms.

To use them, from an operational perspective it will suffice for the user to have a device (laptop, desktop computer, tablet or cell phone, since both are multiplatform) with a camera, microphone and internet access.

However, in order to connect to a specific Virtual Meeting, it is necessary to access a link, created exclusively for that event, which will be sent by the Secretariat by e-mail. During the meeting, it is possible to see the Participants and be seen (provided that the respective cameras are enabled), as well as to hear and be heard (as long as the microphone is not muted), except for private meetings (caucus), access to which is available only those who should take part.

In addition, documents and presentations can be easily projected using the screen sharing tool.

The tutorial below demonstrates how to access and use the Microsoft Teams platform:

Remote Meeting and Hearing Tutorial Via Microsoft Teams

What follows are some specifications and suggestions so that meetings are held without technical difficulties:

  • Internet speed: 1 Mbps/2 Mbps – High-definition group video calls (540p video on a 1080p screen);
  • Connection test: perform a test to figure out whether the Download and Upload speed will meet the necessary demands for video-based meetings (suggested link: https://www.speedtest.net/pt);
  • Preferably use cable-based connections;
  • Simulate conferences in advance with Participants;
  • Use headphones in cases of one user per device; and
  • Seek technical support during the call.

Finally, we emphasize that the Case Manager responsible for the proceeding and the CAM-CCBC IT technician will accompany the Virtual Meeting, so as to provide all the necessary support and ensure the smooth running of the works.

[1] Alternative dispute resolution methods administered by the CAM-CCBC include Arbitration, Mediation, Domain Registration and Dispute Boards, in addition to its current activities as a Nominating Authority.
[2] Mediation Rules. Available at: https://ccbc.org.br/cam-ccbc-centro-arbitragem-mediacao/en/mediation/mediation-rules-2016/.
[3] These Notes may be expanded and updated to gather new suggestions and contributions to ensure constant improvements in the management of proceedings.
[4] Participants in Virtual Meetings, hereinafter referred to as “Participants” include: case managers, mediator, parties and legal representatives, lawyers, interns, assistants and IT technicians of the CAM-CCBC to support the Virtual Meeting.
[5] The mandatory requirements referred to in this item may be checked in Annex II.
[6] Pursuant to Administrative Resolution no. 40/2020.
[7] More details on the technical requirements and other orientations to perform these virtual meetings are available at this link https://ccbc.org.br/cam-ccbc-centro-arbitragem-mediacao/en/remote-hearings/
[8] The case manager is identified by the final part of the proceeding number, for instance, ARB. XXX/XXXX/SECX. Case Manager contact information may be accessed by the website https://ccbc.org.br/cam-ccbc-centro-arbitragem-mediacao/sobre-cam-ccbc/estrutura-organizacional/.

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