Nobody wants to get involved in a lawsuit. It can be stressful, time consuming and expensive. That’s why mediation has become increasingly more utilized in disputes by parties wanting a quick, easy and low-cost method of resolving their legal claims outside of the court system.
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution procedure that assists parties in a dispute in reaching an agreement outside of the courtroom. It is an informal, non-legal process which employs the expertise of a neutral, third-party mediator specifically trained in promoting effective communications between disputing parties with the goal of helping them reach a settlement agreement.
While some mediators are lawyers, it is not necessary, since the role of the mediator is not the same as a lawyer. Unlike a lawyer, a mediator does not give legal advice or advocate on behalf of the legal rights of either party. Rather, a mediator facilitates productive discussion between the disputing parties to help them reach a mutually satisfactory resolution to a conflict.
A mediator does not make any decisions regarding the disputed matter. The responsibility and authority for coming to an agreement remains squarely in the hands of the mediating parties themselves. This is a plus, especially in disputes where there are many complex issues involved, since the disputing parties can negotiate their own agreement rather than giving up control of the outcome to a judge, jury or arbitrator.
Mediation can be used in employment, civil as well as family matters, and usually takes less time and is less expensive than a traditional lawsuit. Most mediators charge a reasonable hourly fee, which can be split between the disputing parties.
An additional benefit of mediation is that it is a non-adversarial dispute resolution process that doesn’t pit parties against one another, so amicable relationships can still be maintained.
While most mediated cases settle successfully, other legal options are still available, so the mediating parties having nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
If you are interested in giving mediation a try, search for a mediator in your local area.
The information on this website is intended as general legal information only and should not form the basis of legal advice of any kind. Individuals seeking specific legal advice should consult a lawyer.