Mediation provides a flexible, confidential and efficient method to resolve complex disputes. It is faster and less expensive than litigation. Mediation occurs when and where the parties decide, and frees the disputants to explore solutions at the time and in the manner of their choosing, without the constraints of burdensome and wasteful litigation.
Speed of Resolution
Usually, mediation is much faster than ordinary litigation in resolving disputes. In most states the time from filing to trial is years rather than the months litigants often expect. As the strain on the court budgets increase, a trend affecting federal and civil courts nationwide, civil cases must take a backseat to criminal matters. Unlike litigation, mediation can be scheduled at the parties’ convenience in a few days or weeks and preparation is less time intensive. Full resolution stops the drain on staff time, adverse publicity, and public exposure of private business information.
Less Expensive Means to Resolution
Mediation is clearly cheaper than litigation. The required preparation is informal rather than procedural. This is because the process is focused on discovering the intersections of the parties’ interests and mutual gain to resolve the conflict.
Mediation discussions between the mediators and the parties enjoy the highest degree of statutory confidentiality. These communications are generally not subject to discovery in unrelated cases. Mediators are ethically bound to keep the communications expressed in mediation private, unless the parties involved consent to disclosure This allows candid discussions and exploration of practical, personal and legal interests.
Mediation avoids the win/lose nature of court decisions. Mediation allows all parties’ interests to be addressed in the same procedure, rather than limiting the issues to recognized legal causes of action and restricting solutions to the legal system’s narrow remedies. Mediation allows greater flexibility and creativity in finding acceptable solutions to a dispute.
Settlement through mediation is voluntary. Unlike court proceedings, a party can voluntarily withdraw from the mediation at any time, and cannot be compelled to accept a resolution involuntarily. Parties can seek solutions that are tailored to their own needs. The parties are empowered to resolve their dispute. These are just a few of the many reasons why mediation should be considered as the first choice in dispute resolution.