What is Mediation?
Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution which is flexible, voluntary and confidential for all parties involved, and is used to resolve the parties’ differences without entering into legal proceedings. A neutral third party – ‘a Mediator’ – assists both parties to work towards a negotiated settlement within their disagreement, by facilitating a discussion. The Mediator finds points of agreement between the parties and aims to provide a forum where the parties’ positions within the dispute is visible, while working together to explore options for a resolution. It provides an opportunity for the parties’ good faith to emerge.
The Mediator will act like an out-of-court judge, but will not actively participate in the discussion, and will, rather, meet privately with each party to discuss the problem confidentially, while transporting the information to each party. Some are lawyers, and others are not, however, they are all trained with the necessary skills, and will not take a side within the discussions, nor will they provide a decision. Instead, by meeting with each party privately, they aid in achieving a negotiated settlement.
Advantages of Mediation
More Control =
As Mediation is voluntary, parties can withdraw from, or terminate the Mediation at any time, and are able to have more control over the outcome than within court proceedings.
Mediation allows each party to be honest with the Mediator, as communication problems and concerns can be overcome. As the Mediator is neutral to both parties, they will act as an intermediary, providing both parties with the opportunity to communicate freely without fear of direct repercussions. The Mediators are also able to help the parties work through a deadlock with communication that could arise due to competitive or hierarchical outlooks, thus, reducing conflict and encouraging smooth communication.
Preservation of Relationships =
Mediation allows the preservation of business relationships, as the simple and fluid communications allow for productivity and decreased relationship stress that can be caused by legal proceedings.
Mediation is carried out confidentially, providing reassurance to the parties that their dispute will not be made public, nor discussed outside of the Mediation process. This also provides the prevention of private or embarrassing topics information being leaked.
Choice of Mediator =
Parties have total choice over the selection of the Mediator, and can, therefore, choose the most appropriate Mediator for their dispute.
Decreased Legal Costs =
By resolving a dispute outside of legal proceedings, the parties’ costs are significantly decreased when compared to the extensive costs that exist with court proceedings.
Other Remedies available =
Mediation offers remedies that may not otherwise be available in court proceedings, providing the ability to build the professional relationships, whilst also creating and presenting new business opportunities for all parties involved.
Mediation is flexible with its speed, timing and locations, ensuring adaptability is available and present for both parties.
As Mediation is flexible, its speed will be significantly faster than a legal dispute being resolved with court proceedings, due to the inevitable delays that occur within the court. It can be arranged quickly, and carried out faster, thus reaching a swifter resolution for the dispute.
High Success Rate =
Mediation has a high success rate and produce durable results with the option to have the settlement written in legal documents to bind both parties to the agreement. It is assumed that 65-85% of disputes are resolved within Mediation as a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
These extensive benefits display why Mediation is sought-after and strongly encouraged prior to legal proceedings, to exhaust the most advantageous options for all parties involved. If you have any questions regarding Mediation or would like help or advice when participating in Mediation, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with the Lawdit team today.