Mediation involves a neutral third party, the mediator, working with both sides to arrive at a negotiated, binding resolution of a dispute. In most cases, parties still need to have their own lawyers to provide independent legal advice and sometimes, strategic advice relating to the process itself.
With extensive mediation training, I am regularly retained for either of these roles: a mediator for both parties, or a lawyer for one party engaged in a mediation process.
Mediation can be a cost effective process which enables parties to better control the outcome of their disputes. It often allows for a more creative and personalized outcome, which may not be possible in the traditional adversarial setting.
Tangible Benefits of Mediation
- Money. In most cases the financial cost of mediation is far less than a protracted legal battle.
- Time. Comparatively, mediation is a time effective process. Meetings are scheduled at the participants availability and not imposed by court dates and judges’ decisions, which often can take months and sometimes years.
- A plan of action. Mediation provides flexibility and a personalized plan of action. This allows for an orderly and accommodating process for both parties.
- Control over outcomes. Going before a judge means rolling the dice and hoping the judge will see it your way. Good or bad, clients must live with the judge’s decision. A mediated settlement provides more control over outcomes – outcomes you agree to, and can live with.
- Objectivity. When embroiled in a conflict, it can be difficult to stay objective and pragmatic. The mediator can help parties see the situation without the emotional baggage — which often is the key to a successful mediation.
- Emotional health. Because mediation allows for parties to “air out” issues that are important to them, the need to be heard and understood is met. This can reduce emotional bitterness and tainted outcomes, and helps to provide closure..