Mediation is a method of dispute resolution in which the parties try to resolve a dispute or reach a settlement with the assistance of a neutral third party, who is called a mediator. It is a dynamic, structured, interactive process where a neutral third party assists disputing parties in resolving conflict through the use of specialized communication and negotiation techniques. All participants in mediation are encouraged to actively participate in the process. During the mediation process, the mediator sometimes holds private meetings with each party separately.
Online mediation conferences are typically scheduled for 2 hours and 30 minutes per session. Several services provide technology for audio visual conferencing which enable document sharing if required. Advantages include saving travel time and costs. The number of sessions needed to complete a mediation varies.
Here's why you may want to consider Mediation:
Outcome is Controlled by the Parties – the resolution is not imposed on the parties as Mediation is a voluntary process. In the court system, business interests are often ignored or compromised. Mediation does the opposite – parties to mediation only agree to a settlement if their business interests are met.
Confidential, so business interests are protected. The parties usually agree to keep the mediation proceedings and the resulting resolution confidential. This is unlike Court proceedings, which are held in public and judgments are forever available to be searched and seen on the internet. During court proceedings, trade secrets, business strategies and other matters are frequently disclosed to the public and competitors.
Efficient as to Time and Money– Most mediations are concluded within a fraction of the time and expense needed to prepare for and attend a trial or arbitration. Most lawsuits settle before trial but usually at a time when large amounts of money have already been spent on legal fees, preparation and expert witnesses. Litigation is a long and costly process which takes the focus of business owners away from taking care of their business.
Flexibility – Mediation is customized and can evolve to meet the needs of the parties. For example, all parties can meet around a table, some may be present by online platform or meetings between the mediator and the parties can take place completely separately even in different countries/continents.
Can Create Business Opportunities – by fully exploring what the parties can offer each other, it is not unusual for mediations to result in an ongoing expanded business relationship between the parties. Mediations can restore damaged business, personal and professional relationships. This can be very important to people working in the same industry.
Risks are Minimized – although some judges have relevant business experience, not all do. Mediation ensures that the outcome is not placed in the hands of a judge who may have little experience or comprehension of your business issues.
Settlement Rate: Mediation has a very high settlement rate. Due to confidentiality, statistics are not available but reliable indications suggest that mediation settles in excess of 80% of cases.
Scheduling is controlled by the parties, not the court.
Legal Rights are Preserved – if the mediation is unsuccessful, the parties still maintain their rights within the legal system as negotiations during mediation are conducted Without Prejudice to the parties’ legal rights.
Partial Success at Mediation - frequently means that several issues have been resolved and the parties can focus their time legal resources on only those issues remaining.