What Is Mediation?
Mediation can be a quicker, cheaper, and less contentious alternative to litigation, allowing the parties to reach a settlement and preserve their relationship. If you are facing a dispute between businesses, banks or other lenders, vendors, service providers, contractors, or parties to a contract, Dean Christopherson can help.
How Does Mediation Work?
Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) used to resolve legal conflicts outside of the court setting. Mediation is an informal process intended to assist the parties to a dispute find a mutually agreeable solution to the controversy. While litigation is an adversarial process that pits the parties against one another, mediation requires working together, with guidance from a mediator, to resolve the dispute expediently and at a much lower cost.
The process occurs during one or more mediation sessions at which the parties meet with a neutral third-party mediator. The mediator does not decide on issues like a judge or offer either party legal advice. Instead, the mediator identifies sticking points, clarifies common goals, helps the parties find common ground, and reach a mutual agreement on a settlement.
The mediator does not issue orders or force the parties to settle, but they must negotiate in good faith for mediation to be successful. Mediation is often voluntary and a potential option before or during litigation. However, the court may order the parties to pursue mediation to settle the case before allowing it to proceed to trial. Whether you are considering mediation or a court has directed you to attend mediation, our accomplished mediation attorney will walk you through the process.
The Benefits of Mediation
Mediation offers a more cost-effective, less time-consuming approach to dispute resolution. Litigation can last for months or even years, involving extensive discovery, expert witnesses, court filings and appearances, and the associated legal fees that may be costly to both parties. Lawsuits also tend to amplify disagreements, making them more personal and contentious.
Mediation offers a more collaborative approach to resolving disputes, finding a solution that works for all interested parties, and avoiding the expense of litigation. Ultimately, mediation helps to preserve business relationships, which are more likely to survive when the parties work together toward a common goal. Although mediation may not be feasible in every dispute, it is preferable to litigation when the option is available.