If you’ve ever been a part of a dispute, you’ll know they can get very unpleasant. A dispute can get worse if there are financial and legal ramifications associated with the outcome. When two parties are finding it impossible to resolve the dispute themselves, they may benefit from involving a third party. Mediation – an alternative dispute resolution method – is a potentially useful way forward. A neutral third party with years of experience in the area of dispute is invited to mediate the negotiations between the two parties. The mediator can help everyone get a realistic picture of their position and help craft creative solutions to the problem. Now, let’s look at the reasons why you should consider mediation.
– Time Taken
A court battle can be really time-consuming. Initiating a claim, exchanging documentation, asking and answering questions, and securing one or more court dates…these all take time. No matter how carefully you plan, there is no certainty of how long the case will last. It might last for a month or it can last for several years; court cases are unpredictable by nature. Here’s the chronology of a standard litigation. In comparison, mediation is quicker; you simply have to arrange a meeting. The entire process consists of one or more rounds of negotiation with both parties and a mediator present, and you can realistically expect the process to be finished inside a month.
– Cost Incurred
A legal battle is far more expensive than mediation. The process of setting up a legal battle and incurring all those hefty legal expenses can make standard litigation an extremely costly affair. In comparison, mediation is far cheaper and it gets cheaper still when the two parties decide to share the costs of mediation.
– Mutually Beneficial Outcomes
A standard court case is essentially a ‘winner takes all’ situation, which can make it an extremely expensive and damaging affair for either of the two parties. In comparison, the whole purpose of mediation (and alternative dispute resolution in general) is to arrive at a mutually beneficial decision or outcome that both parties can agree upon. With litigation, there is a high chance that one party will end up in a much worse position, but with good mediation, it is possible for both parties to end up in a stronger position.
– Greater Degree of Control
Courts and the litigation process can be extremely intimidating for someone who is not familiar with how it all works. In comparison, you might feel more powerful and feel that you have a greater sense of control over the proceedings at a negotiating table where you have a say in the procedure. And, since a court’s decision is final (except for appeals), it’s a decision that you have to abide by. With mediation, however, you have control over whether or not you want to accept the resolution offered by the mediator. Another desirable element about mediation is that the two parties can customise the resolution they’re working on and collectively (and creatively) tailor a solution that benefits both parties.
Are you looking to resolve a dispute? Mediation is a worthy alternative to standard litigation, and may be worth a try. If you intend to opt for litigation or any other alternative dispute resolution methods, including mediation, you can feel free to contact us at Prowse Chowne.