June 5, 2024
The Advantages of Mediation in Resolving a Legal Dispute

Are you a party currently embroiled in litigation and seeking to resolve your case prior to trial? Have you been advised by your attorney that you must attend a court ordered mediation? Litigation can be both financially and emotionally costly. Mediation may offer an alternative path for parties seeking resolution of their legal dispute in a timelier and more cost-efficient manner outside of court.

What is mediation?

Mediation is simply a negotiation between the parties of a lawsuit. A mediator—a third party neutral—helps to facilitate the negotiation between the parties. Importantly, a mediator has no decision making authority in the case. A mediator cannot “make” any party do something that the party does not wish to do. At its most basic level, a mediator’s role is to assist the parties in finding the “middle ground” where they can both (or all) agree to resolve a dispute.

What are the benefits of mediation?

As outlined below, there are numerous advantages to resolving cases at mediation.

(1) Confidentiality: The discussions and disclosures made during mediation are entirely confidential. This allows parties the discretion to candidly negotiate without concern for disclosure of sensitive information in the public record.

(2) Cost-Effectiveness: Mediation can significantly reduce costs associated with prolonged litigation, as it tends to resolve disputes more quickly and without the need for extensive discovery, court appearances, and trial.

(3) Expedited & Flexible Resolution: Court dockets are often delayed, which can prolong resolution of a case. However, mediation can be scheduled at any point during litigation. This allows for the potential for expedited resolution, as well as greater flexibility and possibility for the parties to reach a settlement agreement tailored to their interests without the constraints and formalities of the court system.

(4) Control Over the Outcome: Parties have more control over the outcome of their dispute in mediation. While a judge or jury can be unpredictable, mediation involves both parties in the negotiation process to reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Additionally, there is no requirement that a resolution be reached at mediation, which allows either party the ability to terminate the mediation at any point if it appears that no mutually agreeable solution can be reached.

(5) High Rate of Compliance: Agreements made during mediation are more likely to be upheld by the parties since the parties participated in the process toward resolution. This means that there is a reduced likelihood of future disputes or the need for enforcement actions.

As discussed, there are numerous benefits to mediation of a case at any point during litigation. Mediation takes into consideration the unique circumstances, interests, and goals of the parties. Regardless of the type of dispute, mediation has the potential to lead to an efficient and satisfactory resolution for all parties.

When should you go to mediation?

Given all of the benefits of mediation, you might be wondering why everyone doesn’t just mediate and resolve their disputes. Although mediation can be a very effective means to resolve a dispute, both parties have to be ready, willing, and able to negotiate a resolution of the dispute. Therefore, it is important that you retain an attorney who can help put you in the best position to negotiate a resolution at mediation.

Sometimes, when you are on the other side of a more “difficult” opposing party, it may require that you “score some points” in the litigation before the other party is “ready” to talk resolution. Other times, the parties simply need more information in order to be in a position to settle a lawsuit. Depending on the complexity of your case, the parties may need to conduct formal discovery (i.e. document requests, depositions, etc.) in order to make an informed decision at mediation. All in all, you will want to be fully informed and in a position to fully negotiate your dispute when you get to the mediation table.
Additionally, in order to have an effective mediation, you need an attorney who has your best interest in mind. Unfortunately, some cases stay in litigation not because the parties are unwilling to settle the dispute but because the attorneys are unwilling to seek a resolution. This can be for a myriad of reasons that we need not cover in this blog.

An effective and thorough attorney can help you navigate this process and be fully prepared for the mediation of your dispute. If you have found yourself in a dispute that you believe might benefit from mediation and, either you do not have an attorney, or would like a second opinion on your case, please contact the attorneys at Boatman Ricci to schedule a consultation. We can be reached at 239-330-1494.

* * * * * * * * * *

THIS BLOG IS INTENDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. IT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE. THE READER SHOULD CONSULT WITH KNOWLEDGEABLE LEGAL COUNSEL TO DETERMINE HOW APPLICABLE LAWS APPLY TO SPECIFIC FACTS AND SITUATIONS. BLOG POSTS ARE BASED ON THE MOST CURRENT INFORMATION AT THE TIME THEY ARE WRITTEN. SINCE IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE LAWS OR OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES MAY HAVE CHANGED SINCE PUBLICATION, PLEASE CALL US TO DISCUSS ANY ACTION YOU MAY BE CONSIDERING AS A RESULT OF READING THIS BLOG.

Published: June 5, 2024
Author: Bo Boatman
Categories : Uncategorized