Mediators are often asked the question of when it is the right time to start the mediation process. As court rooms are becoming more and more crowded, many judges want to see cases solved through mediation. Parties may also want to turn to mediation because of its many advantages over holding a trial, such as faster settlements and privacy during the process. Although courts may be encouraging mediation, it cannot always be forced upon the parties. In an ideal world, parties would go to mediation as soon as their dispute arose. In reality, parties tend to wait days or even hours before the case goes to trial to mediate and finally come to an agreement. As they realize the consequences of a trial and understand that their fears can become reality, some clients turn to mediation hours before going to trial. Regardless of whether of not parties are aware of the benefits of mediation, cases are settled when the time is right.
Now, the answer to the question of whether there is a perfect time to mediate really depends on the case. Many cases can be settled early on, but this only happens if the lawyers had enough time to investigate and provide their client’s with the correct information to settle the case. In other cases, lawyers may be sent to mediation even if they have not completed their research. This is more likely to cause the mediation to fail, therefore resulting in a failure to settle. Again, the best time to mediate depends on your specific case.
The way to find the best time to mediate for your case would be to talk to the other parties involved, specifically your adversary. Speak to him/her and find out how they feel about going to mediation and when they think the right time would be. If you do not want to or do not feel comfortable speaking directly to your adversary, it would also be okay to have the mediator talk to both parties about the possibility of starting mediation. There are also times when court forces parties to go into mediation before they are prepared. If this is your case, then use the mediation process to exchange information with each other and lay groundwork for future negotiations. The key to finding the right time to mediate is the the motivation and consent of the parties involved.
Source referenced: Mediate