Within any dispute ill feelings foster and tempers flare, ultimately drowning out the voice of reason. Everyone wants to be heard and yet the louder one speaks the less one will hear or be heard. At these times jumping to litigation is tempting, but when the process commences and time goes on litigation is simply painful, time consuming and costly.
Alternative Dispute Resolution offers many different options to escape the negative aspects of litigation. Here are five reasons to choose mediation:
#5: You are in Control.
Mediation offers both sides complete control over the matter at hand. In court, parties are subject to stringent rules. During mediation both parties are able to cooperatively plan out procedures and be in control of communication as well as being in control of the ultimate case outcome. The mediator is always neutral. This is wonderful because the mediator facilitates the process for both parties without “choosing sides” or bringing to the table any biased opinions. Furthermore, the mediator will ensure that both sides are heard. No more shouting necessary.
#4: Mediation is Private.
One great perk to mediation is the privacy it provides. Court trials are available to the public. This means anyone fishing for information about your dispute has access to all the details. Mediation however, is confidential and carried out only between the parties involved and the mediator. Te privacy of all information for all sides is absolutely preserved.
#3: A Chance for a Win/Win Outcome.
No one likes to lose. Mediation offers a chance for a win/win result rather than a winner and a loser outcome typically “imposed” by a trial court. Mediators and the parties work together to come to a solution in which both parties get what they need. Of course, it is frequently said that in mediation, a perfect settlement is achieved when both sides are equally unhappy. But after trial, more ofter than not, bit sides are VERY unhappy. Controlling the private process and voluntarily choosing the outcome IS a Win / Win!
#2: Cost. You Can’t Afford Not to Mediate.
Litigation is long and expensive. Mediation shortens the process and cuts off the waste of valuable resources for both parties. Mediation preserves opportunity cost. Opportunity cost is the time spent doing one thing instead of doing something else. In litigation, parties are often so focused on the values at issue in the controversy that they fail to recognize the tremendous cost of lost opportunities. Mediation may result in parties agreeing to compromise the values they perceive to their claims, but this “discount” is usually more than made up in the saved costs of attorney fees and trial costs and the benefits parties can achieve when they are freed of the conflict to focus their attentions of more productive pursuits.
#1: You Own the Outcome.
Mediation is the only dispute resolution process that allows, indeed requires, that the parties both agree, voluntarily, to accept the negotiated outcome. Unlike a decision after trial, which “imposes” a result on both sides, mediation results are creatures of mutual consent, which means that both sides (all sides) embrace and “own” the outcome. Self directed and self accepted outcomes are infinitely more satisfying and lasting that any third party imposed outcome.
Mediation offers a cooperative, informal setting in which problems may be resolved. Mediation grants privacy to both parties and offers a win/win solution. And of course, mediation saves you time and money and frees you to indulge in productive pursuits of your own choosing.