• Laura L. Van Tassel, Esq.

What’s Better In-Person or Virtual Mediation/Negotiations?




Ever since the pandemic, I began to offer my clients the ability to meet In-Person, via Phone, or via Video Conferencing (Zoom). However, when environmental conditions permit, I encourage my clients not to do “Virtual Mediation/negotiations.

Here’s why:

First off, everyone knows how easy it is to default to Zoom. So when you offer to show up in person, it “makes the statement” that you’re serious about engaging in a meaningful process.

Secondly, In-Person mediation allows parties to use body language in the discussion. Body language and tone are all important components of getting ideas across and negotiating. Removing this component has its difficulties.

Thirdly, using technology presents its own difficulties as sharing documents, avoiding tech issues, and avoiding speaking over each other. Parties must practice patience with the process and the opposing party.


And lastly, “Zoom fatigue.” This results from the need to focus on faces on a small screen, the lack of normal movement and visual variety, and the tendency to look at oneself on the screen. Zoom fatigue forces us to break the process down into smaller pieces, incorporating breaks of hours or days and delaying the decision-making process.

My option, “In-PersonMediation/Negotiations,” fend off decision fatigue and leave us better positioned for meaningful decisions that can truly allow us to find resolution and move forward.


At the end of the day, mediation is about negotiating and making decisions with the aid of someone outside of the dispute and doing it the best way we all can — together.




At Van Tassel Law, I believe in a kinder approach to life's legal issues

If you live in NJ, feel and would like more information regarding Mediation, stop by Van Tassel Law to learn more or if you need assistance with a divorce plan, feel free to call me at (201) 664-8566 and schedule your initial confidential consultation.