Justice always prevails, right? Anyone who has watched a TV crime show knows that the bad guys are always caught. The good guys always win.
And then there’s real life. If you’ve ever been involved in a legal dispute, you know that the path to a resolution can be lengthy and costly and that the outcome is never a sure bet no matter how convinced you are of the rightness of your position.
There’s got to be a better way to resolving such issues which is alternative dispute resolution, and it comes in many forms. One form of alternative dispute resolution called “mediation” will be the discussion for today.
Mediation doesn’t necessarily involve a court, although it may. What distinguishes mediation from a proceeding run by a judge is that no one tells you what you have to do to resolve your dispute. There are no orders to turn over documents or evidence, no need to take sworn statements or call witnesses (although you can), rarely if ever are there attorney papers filed accusing one side or the other of egregious acts. A judge or jury does not get involved in deciding who is right or wrong and how much is owed to one side or the other.
Instead, mediators facilitators of the process who are impartial. They have no vested interest in the outcome of a dispute. Their only interest is in helping the parties craft an agreement that reflects each parties’ interests and concerns, one that resolves the dispute with terms that everyone to the dispute can live with.
Mediation doesn’t require parties to be represented by attorneys although in complex disputes the parties may decide to have an attorney involved. In its purest form, mediation is not subject to court scheduling orders. It never requires anyone to reveal evidence; it only requires the involvement of key witnesses. And it never imposes any final terms which the parties themselves have not agreed to.
What this means is that mediation can be;
- more creative
- less complicated
- and can result in a more agreeable solution than resolutions imposed by a judge or jury.
There you have it. Five solid reasons to choose mediation over litigation.