The goal of mediation is to settle disputes by using a neutral third party to help those in conflict define issues, explore solutions and reach practical, workable and mutually satisfying agreements. Mediation offers a faster, less costly and more confidential alternative to formal litigation in Court.
Mediation sessions are held in private, non-courtroom settings such as conference rooms or community rooms. They are scheduled at the convenience of all parties and their lawyers. Mediation sessions are typically conducted by trained mediators who are familiar with the legal system and the issues involved in particular cases. They can provide assistance in establishing the appropriate tone, setting and atmosphere for discussions that often result in more satisfactory resolutions for everyone involved.
Unlike the litigious process of going to Court, mediation is a confidential and voluntary process in which people who are in conflict can come together to discuss their differences. Generally, people who mediate have a willingness to compromise and are ready to take steps to work toward a mutually satisfactory resolution of their dispute. Mediation may also offer a better opportunity to preserve and maintain the relationship that existed before the dispute began than the adversarial approach of going to Court.
There are many different types of disputes that can be resolved through mediation. Family disputes, such as divorces, are commonly mediated, as are workplace issues, real estate disputes, landlord/tenant conflicts and insurance claims. Mediation services can be found throughout the country, in rural areas, and through local, state or national organizations.
A successful outcome to a dispute through mediation is not guaranteed. In some circumstances, mediation may not be the best option for resolving a case and a settlement agreement may not be reached. However, even a partial settlement can significantly reduce future litigation costs.
Disputes that are mediated can be settled in a fraction of the time it takes to go to trial and can save thousands of dollars in legal fees, attorney’s fees, court costs and lost earnings. The cost of a negotiated settlement can be far lower than the total cost of the case.
In addition to saving money, a settlement of a dispute through mediation can also protect the reputations and relationships that matter most to both parties. The peace that results from a mediated agreement can also help prevent future disputes, improve communications and prevent the further erosion of important relationships in our lives. For these reasons, it is always a good idea to discuss mediation as an alternative to formal litigation with a qualified lawyer before taking any action. You can find an experienced lawyer to represent you in your case by searching the FindLaw directory or asking a friend, colleague or your attorney for a recommendation. You can also visit the CourtHelp website or contact the courthouse where your case is pending for a referral. Alternatively, you can also talk to your lawyer at your next scheduled appointment or ask for a referral to a specialist. mediation services