Why Mediation Instead of Litigation? by Ryan Muldoon
Legal disputes involving the court system can potentially lead to financial ruin for individuals or businesses. Lawsuits are time-consuming endeavors that can also take a toll on a person’s mental, emotional, and physical health. Mediation is an alternative method of dispute resolution where a trained third-party neutral, more commonly referred to as a mediator, helps guide the parties to a resolution.
Here are five reasons why choosing mediation over litigation could be beneficial:
- Control. The parties, not the court, control the process and the outcome in mediation. This concept of control actually begins prior to mediation because the parties typically select the mediator. During mediation, the parties determine the discussion and whether or not there is a resolution. A judge or jury decides the fate of the parties should a lawsuit proceed to trial.
- Economical. A mediation can last anywhere from a couple of hours to a full day. Conversely, lawsuits can take one to two years before a trial. If one party decides to appeal then the lawsuit could span several years. Therefore, mediation is much more cost-effective than litigation.
- Neutral. The cornerstone of mediation is neutrality. Mediators remain neutral during the entire mediation process and have no vested interest in the outcome of the dispute. Although the mediator may creatively facilitate negotiations, the mediator does not take sides with one party or the other.
- Voluntary. The parties voluntarily make a decision to try mediation. During a mediation, the parties make good faith attempts to resolve the dispute. However, one party cannot be forced to enter into an agreement with another party if they do not agree with all of the proposed terms.
- Time. As previously indicated, a lawsuit may last years prior to an outcome. Mediation is an opportunity to quickly and efficiently resolve a pending legal dispute in a matter of hours.