What is Mediation?
Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”).
Watch this video to learn more about the mediation process.
What and Who?
Mediation is a process led by a neutral third-party, referred to as a mediator. The mediator is not “for” or “against” anyone.
A mediator's role is to help people or companies reach mutually agreeable resolutions of their problems.
Unlike an arbitration or a lawsuit in court, a mediator will not issue a decision that the people or companies in a dispute have to live with. A mediator helps the people and companies in a dispute reach a resolution that the people in the dispute can accept, or reject. There are no forced resolutions in mediation. The choice to resolve a dispute, and how, is always left to those who are participating in mediation.
Who Uses It?
People and companies alike use mediation. They chose to participate in mediation voluntarily.
They do so because they care about getting their dispute resolved. They also want to avoid spending a lot of time and money fighting in court.
How Does It Work?
There are different philosophies about how mediation can help people and companies with a problem find a resolution. One is where a mediator helps evaluate aspects of their dispute. Another is where a mediator facilitates resolution through encouragement. Another focuses on helping turn a conflict into a peace.
There are even approaches that do not have official names. Mediation is offered in many parts of the U.S. in a variety of different ways.
Some mediators studied the law and mediation. Some mediators did not. Some offer a particular mediation philosophy. Some involve complicated rules. Others make it simple. And, then there's the No Lawyers Allowed mediation way – which aims to make it simple, fast, accessible, and cost-effective.
Why Does It Work?
Mediation works because there are no “winners” or “losers” in mediation. Those who can work in good faith to reach a resolution will win together. It may very well be that no one in a mediation resolution is “happy.” Oftentimes a good resolution is one where both sides are not totally happy with the resolution, but are thrilled to have the dispute resolved.
Mediation works because participants have a commitment to a civil society. It is mutually beneficial way to resolve a problem, whereas going court is a mutually destructive way to resolve a problem.
Mediation works because people and companies with problems want the problems resolved quickly, cost-effectively, and without the public peeking in. Mediation works because it is far better than the alternative, which is the long, expensive, and uncertain options offered by lawyers and courts.
Mediation works because it is cheaper, quicker, and will always result in an outcome that is more “fair” than a court decision or jury’s verdict resulting from the “justice system” will ever be. Mediation also works because it's better than dueling it out in the street.
When Should Mediation Take Place?
Consider mediation early in the life of a problem. The longer the problem persists, the more complicated it will become.
Even if mediation is not successful the first time around, consider giving it another shot. Sometimes it takes going through the dispute resolution process to overcome barriers to resolution. Sometimes once the barriers are overcome, a second mediation, or third, can be what it takes to resolve the dispute.
Our court system is said to be the best in the world. But, it should be your last resort.
It is your dispute. Who better to decide how to get it resolved than you? Mediation assists you with that.
The alternative is turning your future over to lawyers,
judges, and juries. And, at that point, you get what you get. You lose all control over how your dispute is resolved. And, it will take forever and cost a lot money.