As an attorney, one of my goals is to bring about resolution for my clients while minimizing additional expenses and stress. The primary contributor of these is often when a case goes to court. Sometimes, avoiding litigation is simply impossible in order to achieve resolution. But before we go to court, I often consider mediation as an alternative dispute resolution tactic to deliver a faster and more cost-effective result.
During the process of mediation, parties utilize the help of a trained mediator to guide them through the process of negotiating a resolution to their dispute. Mediation, as an alternative to litigation, is good for the courts as it eases the case load. More often than not, it also brings about an end to the conflict that is more favorable to both parties versus a court decision. But besides the obvious cost and time savings, here are three often overlooked benefits I’ve found mediation offers to my clients.
Enhanced Control Over Outcome
Unlike in the courtroom, where your fate is in the hands of the judge after your case has been made, mediation allows both parties to have much greater control over the outcome of the decision. Both parties are directly involved in negotiating the final agreement, and no judgment can ever be imposed upon you. There is also enhanced control over your privacy. While court proceedings are open to the public (and potentially the press), everything said at the mediation is entirely confidential. Finally, any party can withdraw from the mediation at any time.
When your case goes to court, your hearing dates are set according to the (often overbooked) courtroom schedule. Depending on your location, it could also be a long trip to your court hearings, adding additional stress to the situation.
Mediations are arranged at locations that are convenient to both parties. Your schedules are taken into consideration, to make the mediation the least disruptive. Mediations take place in a private room, with the mediator speaking with both parties privately and together, guiding both toward a settlement.
Mediations are facilitated by professionals trained in dealing with difficult situations. They act as neutral agents providing support for both parties during the mediation process. Parties can focus on communicating effectively with each other to reach a resolution.
Whatever the nature of the dispute, if there is any interest in preserving the relationship, mediation would be the recommended course of action.
When court can’t be avoided, we have the skill and experience necessary to represent our clients through the thick of it. But with our firm’s mission of “obtaining expeditious and cost-efficient results in a professional and low-maintenance environment for our clients,” it is obvious to see why we steer for mediation for our clients when possible.