What is the benefit of mediation?
There are several benefits of mediation. First, in mediation you retain control over how the case will be resolved and you and the other parties in the dispute make the decisions. Second, mediation is a confidential process and any decisions you make are private and are not reported. If you are in a court ordered mediation and the decision is written up as a settlement agreement or memorandum of understanding and a document will be filed with the court which just notes that the case has been settled. Third, mediation is less expensive than a traditional law suit. Fourth, mediation is a quicker way to resolve issues rather than a lengthy court battle.
How does mediation differ from arbitration?
In mediation the parties make their own decision with the assistance of the mediator who guides the process. In arbitration, which is generally a much more formal process, parties present their case and evidence and possibly witnesses and the arbitrator makes the decision. It is a lot like going to court and is sometimes referred to as private judging. Arbitration can take place in a face to face format or it can be based on the written documents the parties submit to the arbitrator.
How long will mediation take?
It depends on a number of factors such as the number of parties, the number of issues and their complexity, and the depth of the conflict. Mediation sessions for simple matters usually go between two and three hours and it may take several sessions to fully discuss and work out all of the issues. Larger cases with multiple parties take much longer.
What are the chances of success in mediation?
While not every mediation is successful many mediations result in successful outcomes.
What if we reach an agreement?
If an agreement is reached the parties or their attorneys if they are represented by counsel will write up a memorandum of understanding or settlement agreement that documents the promises and commitments of each side. Alternatively, the mediator may write up a document that contains the parties’ agreements.
What if we don’t reach an agreement?
It depends on the nature and posture of the case. If it is in court the litigation will continue. If it is pre-suit then one side may commence litigation. If that happens there may will probably be another opportunity to mediate once the information is exchanged through the discovery process.
How can I help ensure a successful mediation?
You should prepare for mediation. Email us to get a free negotiation preparation chart. Determine what you need to obtain out of this dispute, whether it be continuing a business relationship, payment of money, a job offer, or some other tangible result. You have the ability in mediation to come up with creative ways of solving the problem before you.