The mediator generally meets with everyone in the same room at the beginning of the day.  Sometimes, there are reasons we don’t all meet together – it depends on the circumstances.  The mediator then settles the parties in separate rooms and goes back and forth between them, asking questions, exchanging offers and generally working to facilitate an agreement that makes sense for everyone involved. A bit of downtime is to be expected during the mediation process — parties should feel free to bring reading material or other means of staying occupied during those times when the mediator is meeting with the other party.