Many people often ask: what is mediation?
Mediation is a conflict resolution technique in which the aggrieved parties discuss all their differences with the aid of a trained, neutral third party who helps them reach a settlement. This could either be in the form of a scheduled settlement conference or just an informal meeting between both parties. The dispute in question could either be pending in a court of law or one that could potentially be filed in a court. The most suitable cases for mediation include disputes in personal injury, commercial transactions, workers compensation, divorce, labor relations, employment, domestic relations and other matters that rarely involve complex evidential or procedural issues. Attendance at a mediation conference is completely voluntary by all parties unless directed by a contract clause or statute.
The mediator is an individual with persistence, patience and common sense. He/she bears an arsenal of human dynamic skills, negotiation skills and powers of articulation, restatement and effective listening. The mediator is just a facilitator and is in no capacity to render a resolution to the dispute at hand. The parties themselves are responsible for fashioning the solution as the mediator takes them through the process. In most cases, the mediator is usually an attorney but cannot offer legal advice while acting as a mediator.
What Is Mediation And What Are Its Benefits?
There are many reasons why parties to a dispute would choose mediation over conventional litigation or other means of dispute resolution. Some of these reasons include the affordability, the time resolution, confidentiality, private sessions, participation in dispute resolution and in many instances preservation of interrelationship between disputing parties.
The overall cost of mediation is much lower than the total cost in money and time for the litigation of a dispute in court. A mediator’s hourly rate is often lower than that of a lawyer. The ability to come up with resolutions to any dispute is another reason why many people would go to mediation. All the parties are normally empowered to handle their differences in workable terms so as to have a win-win solution. In most cases, this promotes healing in instances where one party was tremendously aggrieved or lets the parties proceed with their personal, employment or business relationship.
Mediation gives attorneys the opportunity to improve case management, case resolution, and client satisfaction. An employment discrimination dispute could take years to litigate. A personal injury case, on the other hand, can be mediated in just weeks after submission of all documents.