Should I mediate my dispute?

For most individuals are businesses that have a legal dispute, one of the first questions they ask themselves is: how can I resolve this?

One way to resolve a dispute is through mediation. However, how do you know if mediation will help you?

Today’s post first defines mediation, before discussing who is involved in the process, and finally, reviewing the benefits of using mediation to resolve a dispute.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a problem-solving technique and form of alternative dispute resolution used for disputes in areas such as business, divorce, or community matters.

In recent years, mediation has gained more popularity within the court system because of its advantages and informal setting, as the process offers a less tense way for both parties to air their concerns and grievances.

Who is involved in mediation?

In general, there are two main entities involved: the mediator and the disputing parties.

The Mediator

Normally, the mediator is a neutral, third person who has been trained and/or licensed by a local, state, or national agency.

A mediator can be a lawyer, judge, community leader, or person experienced in a particular industry.

The mediator’s role is to help all parties reach a resolution to their dispute without imposing his or her opinions on the parties.

Disputing Parties

The disputing parties are the people or entities directly involved in a disagreement. In many cases, each party is allowed to bring their lawyer to help in the mediation.

What are the benefits of mediation?

There are many benefits to mediation, including cost, being in charge of your defense, time, confidentiality, and enforceability.

Cost

Reduction of overall costs is a significant benefit of mediation. Pending legal matters incur expenses for the entire time they are pending. This fact can be draining for all parties, both mentally and financially. Mediation offers an alternative resolution at a much lower expense.

Being in Charge

In mediation, each party can be in charge of their own negotiation, and are free to resolve their dispute at their own pace without the intervention of third parties, judges, or juries. That means each party can assist in negotiating their own agreement, be more in control of the overall process, and state their underlying concerns.

Time

Court dockets are on the rise, causing some cases to take years before a final judgement. Mediation offers an alternative, in most cases, shortening the overall time a matter is pending.

Confidentiality

The mediation process requires that both the mediator and the parties in many jurisdictions are subject to confidentially rules of said jurisdiction. In Georgia, the content of mediation may fall under the settlement negotiation as per O.C.G.A. §24-4-408, which means that any and all settlement communication during mediation is protected and cannot be admitted as evidence in court.

Enforceability

An agreement is enforceable as much as the parties wish for it to be enforceable. Generally, a mutual agreement tends to have a longer and better life than an imposed one by the courts.

In sum, the purpose of mediation is to help disputing parties resolve their disagreement through the assistance of a mediator. This process should be considered by many since it can be much faster, cheaper, and more importantly, help the disputing parties reach their own mutual, and long-lasting agreement.

Note: A previous version of this post was published on our blog on 11/17/14. This post has been updated as of 8/21/19.

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Disclaimer: Nothing in relation to the enclosed information should be construed and or considered as legal advice for any individual, entity, case, or situation. The following information is prepared for advertisement use only. The information is intended ONLY to be general and should not be relied upon for any specific situation. For legal advice on your specific situation, we encourage you to consult an attorney experienced in the area of Immigration Law.