Five Advantages of Mediation Over Litigation
There is more than one way to resolve a legal dispute with another party, be it your spouse, employer, business partner, or a landlord. Instead of dragging the matter to the court and spending a significant amount of time and money over it, consider mediation as a better alternative to litigation.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is one of the most common types of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). It refers to the informal, voluntary process of solving a dispute with the help of a neutral third-party, i.e., a mediator. The mediator brings together the parties so they can discuss their issues and reach a mutually satisfactory agreement–without going to the court.
A mediator also facilitates communication between the parties in such a way that there are no misunderstandings. For example, if you want your case resolved before it goes in front of a judge, but you and the other party are unable to sit down under the same roof and see each other’s perspective, a mediator can help.
Why is Mediation Better than Litigation?
One of the biggest reasons why people and organizations often prefer mediation is it minimizes the stress and potential legal costs of a dispute.
As harsh as it may sound, in most cases, litigation is only chosen to fuel the fight. You might be mad at your landlord over unsanitary conditions in your office, or you and your spouse had a falling out and now want each other to suffer even more.
While no two cases are the same, litigation often fosters more animosity due to the fact that there is a defined winner and loser. But just as most cases can be solved via litigation, most can be solved with mediation as well. Unless your situation is so incredibly unique that the court must intervene, you can probably get the dispute solved through a mediator, and if you can, it is often a more favorable outcome simply for the fact that mediation is less contentious.
If you’re still not sure whether you should go for mediation or litigation, consider this:
Mediation Is Quicker
It usually only takes days or weeks to get the final decision through mediation. On the other hand, if you go for a lawsuit, be prepared to spend months or even years fighting your battle in a court.
Mediators know the value of your time, and when they are working with you, your case will receive their undivided attention. Unlike courts, mediators are not swamped with heavy caseloads day in and day out.
Mediation Is Affordable
Going the mediation route can help you save a substantial amount of money compared to a traditional lawsuit. For starters, hiring a mediator is cheaper than hiring a lawyer.
And with a quicker turnaround, you will be paying less money over a very short period of time. Employing an attorney for the duration of the lawsuit – that can go for years – can become expensive fast.
Mediation Is Confidential
Did you know that most court cases are public record? All documents filed in a lawsuit can be easily accessed through the court clerk’s office or even the Internet!
But alternative dispute resolution cases are confidential, which means there are no transcripts or records. In fact, any evidence introduced during mediation cannot be revealed or used later.
Mediation Offers Control and Flexibility
When a case goes to the court, only the judge (or the jury) is in control of the outcome. In other words, the parties have less of a say in the process.
However, mediation allows you and the other party to remain in control of the negotiations and outcomes. If you don’t like the final result of the mediation process, you don’t have to accept it!
Mediation Helps Preserves Ongoing Relationships
If you are in dispute with a family member or a business partner, a lawsuit is more likely to destroy that relationship for good.
Mediation offers many advantages over litigation, but this is one of the most overlooked ones. The process of mediation is collaborative in nature – and not confrontational. There are no winners and losers in mediation because the mediator will help you reach a win-win solution.
Since the final arrangement is mutually agreed upon, parties are less likely to have hostile feelings towards each other in the end. This is why choosing alternatives to litigation is always recommended before going to court.
Discover Masterful Mediators at Shapiro Mediation Services
Shapiro Mediation Services has made an impact in communities across Massachusetts and South Florida. The firm also continues to provide high levels of service, excellence, and compassion no matter what the circumstance. Call (339) 298-7733 to schedule a free consultation with one of our mediators at our Massachusetts or South Florida office, or contact us online.