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There are seven steps you need to take to prepare for mediation at the Federal Circuit Court:
If there is a very good reason why you cannot be available, contact the Federal Circuit Court straight away.
It is important to be on time. If you are running late, you should call the court as soon as possible to let the registrar mediating your case know.
Make sure you plan to be at the court for a while. Mediation can last all day. You may need to arrange time off work, or child care. If you need an interpreter you should contact the Federal Circuit Court Registry as soon as possible. The Registry may be able to provide an interpreter for you.
A response is a document your employer should have filed after you served your application and claim. You should have received the response before the first directions hearing.
Make sure you read the employer's response to your application and claim carefully. This will help you understand what the employer is saying about your case. Make sure you also read any documents the employer has attached. Compare them with your documents.
If your employer has claimed there is a problem with your application (for example, that it was made outside the time limit) you should get
legal advice about this.
You should prepare for mediation so that you can get the most out of it.
Read the materials on this website:
You should also find out whether your employer owes you money, like:
At mediation, you can ask for these amounts to be paid to you. This could be part of a settlement agreement. For help finding out if you are owed any money, see
Finding employment law. If you need more help, you should get
You should also make sure you get advice on any other issues that might affect your case, for example:
You should get
legal advice. You can talk to a solicitor about:
If you want a lawyer to represent you at mediation, you should arrange this as soon as possible.
It is a good idea to take a friend or relative to mediation with you for support if you can. When organising the mediation, ask the registrar if you are allowed to have a support person attend with you. This will help if you are angry or need to discuss any offers with someone. A support person will also help if you feel intimidated by your employer or their lawyer.
If you are represented by a lawyer, your lawyer must attend the mediation at the Federal Circuit Court. If you want a lawyer, you will have to organise one. For information and assistance finding a lawyer, see
Getting more help.
Think about how you want to end the dispute. Do you want:
Some things to consider:
For each option, think about whether it is realistic. For example, it might not be realistic to ask for reinstatement if you worked for a very small business.
For a handy tool to help you prepare your thoughts, see
Preparing for mediation - Worksheet.
Legal costs usually refer to the costs of hiring a lawyer. Expenses might include costs such as your filing fee, photocopying costs, and the costs of subpoenas.
If you have a lawyer, you should ask your lawyer to prepare a bill for all your costs and expenses up to and including the day, or days, of mediation. That way you will be able to work out how much you have to pay your lawyer before accepting any offers.
You generally can't claim for your time in running your case and representing yourself at court or mediation. That means you can't claim for lost wages because you couldn't go to work on the day you went to mediation.
You should put all the documents about your case together. You should have these with you during the mediation so that you can quickly find any information or documents you need.
You will need:
You have already explained your complaint in your application and claim forms. Take the time to read these again and see if there is anything you have left out or anything else you think you want to explain in more detail. If you have made a mistake in your application or claim, you should get
If you have not included dates for conversations, meetings or emails, make a note of these now.
Check with the Federal Circuit Court registry where you have to go to attend mediation. Find out what time it starts and when it is expected to finish.
If you are going to drive, find out if there is any parking nearby, and how much it costs. You don't want to arrive late for mediation because you couldn't find a parking spot. If you are going to use public transport, check timetables and make sure you give yourself plenty of time.
Take a notepad and some pens so you can write things down and take notes. Take a bottle of water and some food. Take a mobile phone with you just in case you want to call someone to discuss a settlement offer.
For more information on what to expect at mediation, see
Going to mediation.