Pros and Cons of Mediation
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. The term “mediation” means that you and the other party meet with a mediator (a neutral third party), who helps all of you find at a solution to your dispute. Mediation is mandatory in some states and optional in others. The concept behind mediation is that before a case goes to trial, the parties have an opportunity to negotiate their own settlement terms and conditions.
- A mediator helps both sides in a dispute evaluate their positions and goals, and negotiate a solution acceptable to everyone.
- A mediator does not take sides or make decisions.
- If you reach an agreement with an opposing party through mediation, you can make it legally binding by entering into a settlement agreement (an enforceable contract).
- Most civil disputes can be mediated, including those involving contracts, leases, and small business ownership.
- Businesses and individuals who have begun a lawsuit can try mediation at any point during the lawsuit.
- A mediator can’t impose a resolution of the dispute on the parties-you always have the right to say “no.”
- Mediators have experience in bringing reluctant parties to the bargaining table.
- Mediation is an “informal” proceeding, and much less stressful than spending the day in the courtroom.
- Because the mediator has no power to impose a resolution of the dispute on the parties, the parties must be willing to compromise
- Mediation costs money, and an unsuccessful mediation will result in additional costs of litigation. Costs are usually split between the parties.
- Mediation takes time, usually anywhere from a couple of hours to a full day.
This publication and the information included in it are not intended to serve as a substitute for consultation with an attorney. Specific legal issues, concerns and conditions always require the advice of appropriate legal professionals.