What’s Mediation and Why is it a Good Option for Resolving Disputes?

You’re having a problem. Maybe it’s as simple as a contractor who isn’t delivering what they promised, or maybe it’s something a lot more problematic: a partnership agreement that each side is interpreting differently. Whatever the issue, it’s serious enough that it seems like it can only be resolved in court, but that seems like it’s going to take a lot of time, be an awful lot of work and expense, and possibly be a ticket to ending a relationship that you’d rather preserve.  This is the perfect scenario for mediation.

If you’re not familiar with mediation as a form of dispute resolution, you should be. When you agree to bring in a mediator, you skip the time and expense of going to court, choosing instead to allow an unbiased third party to help you have a constructive conversation and negotiate a solution. Mediators don’t necessarily make decisions or choose winners or losers: they can, but only in situations where both parties agree to that happening. What they do is facilitate conversation, help to clear up misunderstandings and help everybody find a way forward.

There are a lot of good reasons to opt for mediation over litigation. These include:

  • Faster resolution: If you choose to pursue litigation, you’re looking at a lot of time. Not only do your attorneys need to prepare, but you also have to get onto the court’s schedule. With mediation, you simply set an appointment, and a decision can usually be reached in a short period of time — as short as a day, and not usually more than a month or two (depending upon how complex the situation is).
  • Lower costs: When you pursue a lawsuit, both sides will need to hire attorneys, and that can add up quickly. A mediator is not only less expensive but in some cases, you can use services that are free or only require a contribution to a non-profit or charity.
  • More engagement: When you go to court you have to follow the court process, allowing your attorney to speak for you unless you are providing testimony. In mediation, each side will be able to speak for themselves, with the mediator ensuring that things remain calm, civil and constructive.

Choosing mediation instead of pursuing a lawsuit is a great way to move forward and find a middle ground in a way that is faster, less expensive and less stressful. The goal of mediation is not to win or lose but to find a solution that both sides can agree to and feel that they were able to be heard and get some of what they wanted. If you would like more information on our mediation services, contact our office today to set up a consultation.