Mediation is a popular choice over litigation, and for good reason. There are many benefits to going through the mediation process instead of taking the litigation route. Mediation is when a case settles outside of court through the two parties and a mediation attorney. The mediator facilitates the conversations. They are typically an experienced lawyer or even a retired judge. Mediation occurs without a trial. There is no “winner” or “loser.” With the help of the mediation attorney, both parties attempt to meet in the middle and come up with compromises. Avoiding court saves time and money. Mediation also creates a more confidential space than the courtroom to work out issues.
Going through mediation is a much faster process than a lawsuit. In fact, attorneys can often complete mediation in a matter of weeks. In contrast, lawsuits can sometimes take months or even years. Also, mediation is more flexible. Since the meetings occur between the two parties and the mediator, they can be scheduled around work or family commitments. This is very different from the litigation process. Court dates are firmly set with little room for flexibility. Also, since the court has so many cases on their schedule, your initial court date might not be scheduled for months. In the meantime, you will find yourself in a stressful period of limbo where you have no idea what the outcome will be. Why not give mediation a try? You get to take part in the outcome and find a solution within weeks.
Lawyer fees are expensive and add up over time. With mediation, you will be done with the whole process in weeks. Litigation can last for months or years. This means any time over that period that your lawyer is working on the case, you are getting charged their high hourly rate. Mediation can save thousands of dollars. In addition, a lawsuit comes with court fees, which can be completely avoided with mediation.
Another benefit of mediation is that it is kept confidential. Everything that is said stays between the two parties and the mediation attorney. In a courtroom, everything is out in the open for anyone to hear, including the lawyers, judge, jury, and public. In addition, during court cases, transcripts are written and kept on record, meaning what is said during the lawsuit is formally documented. Mediation is much different. Anything that is said in mediation cannot be used as evidence or shared with anyone else. Clients who use mediation feel more confident in sharing information, because they know it will be kept confidential.
Meet in the Middle
At the end of the lawsuit there is always a clear-cut “winner” and “loser.” Someone is found guilty and must deal with the punishments. With mediation, the goal is to make compromises and meet in the middle. No one wins or loses. The idea is that the issues are settled in a flexible way so that both parties are happy with the outcome. A mediator is great at listening to both sides of the story. They help the parties to come up with mutually agreed-upon solutions.
Mediation is all about collaboration with the guidance of the mediator. Both parties get the chance to have a conversation, which is something that doesn’t happen in the courtroom. Often after mediation, relationships can be saved and the two parties can move forward as friends despite their past issues. In addition, mediation is a less formal process than going to court. Fewer formalities tend to make both parties feel more comfortable.
What if Mediation Doesn’t Work?
If the two parties can’t come together to reach a settlement, then the case can proceed to trial. Mediation is flexible and is not set in stone. If it doesn’t work, that’s all right! There is no harm in attempting mediation even if it doesn’t work in the long run. Litigation is always an option. However, mediation is successful for many people in several different types of cases. Try mediation first, since it has so many benefits!
How Do I Find a Mediation Attorney?
The goal of finding a mediator is to find a person who is a good listener. They should also be creative in coming up with solutions for your case. Do some research before picking someone. Read reviews online. If possible, get word-of-mouth recommendations. Doing research will help you find a well-liked and experienced mediator. At Reynolds, Horne & Survant we are here to help with your mediation or litigation needs. We can help you analyze your situation to determine whether mediation or litigation is the best route for you.
Mediation is a great option for two parties looking to resolve a dispute. Mediation can lead to quick settlements at budget-friendly prices. You can save a lot of time and money. Litigation, on the other hand, can take months or even years to reach a settlement. During this time, both parties are incurring attorney and court fees. Another benefit of mediation is that it is completely confidential. This is unlike court cases, where the information is public. With mediation, all statements from a session stay within the session. Unlike lawsuits which have a clear “winner” and “loser,” mediation doesn’t have a “guilty” charge. Both parties, along with the mediation attorney, collaborate to find a fair solution that works for everyone.
If you try mediation and it doesn’t work out, don’t worry! Litigation is always an option if mediation is unsuccessful. For more information about mediation vs. litigation and which option is right for you, contact Reynolds, Horne & Survant today.