Mediation—not to be confused with arbitration—is an exceptionally cost-effective and time-effective way to resolve disputes:
Spend less money and less time and get a binding (enforceable by written agreement) resolution to your dispute which is not imposed on you by a judge, jury or arbitrator but is agreed to by you before it is binding on you. You retain control of your destiny as the client and principal: if you don’t agree, if you don’t reach agreement, then you are free to keep litigating or fighting with your opponent.
What’s not to like so far?
What I hear most frequently at this point in these discussions is something like this by way of perceived disadvantages:
“Mediation always involves a compromise. I am 100% right, and mediation is a waste of time and money because I know the other side won’t agree to my position which is 100% right. Besides, opposing counsel is a real jerk, arrogant too. He/she and his/her clients need to be taught a lesson.”
Of course, many times both sides feel the exact same way about the righteousness of their positions. Which is the first response to the “100% right” comment: there are always two sides to every story. Often a hard lesson to live by.
How much time and money makes sense to spend to have a judge or jury or arbitrator answer that question—who is right? The money involved in an all-day mediation is certainly significant, but that money will usually pale in comparison to a trial or arbitration hearings.
And, as for teaching somebody a lesson, most people have better ways to spend their time and money compared to trying to teach lessons to opposing counsel and their clients.
Here is a link great article from the August 2017 issue of the L.A. County Bar Journal by Rande S. Sotomayor. Well worth reading for details of the mediation process and advantages of mediation: LA County Bar-Sotomayor
The “closer argument” is the answer to this question: who doesn’t benefit from a successful mediation? The answer is very clear to those who have been through protracted litigation.
The attorneys who case after case somehow can’t figure out how to help their clients resolve their disputes cost-effectively through mediation and consequently earn those big fees from years of litigation.
Ask your prospective attorney or existing attorney these questions:
- About what percentage of civil cases eventually resolve by way of compromise settlement?
- How much in attorney’s fees and other litigation costs should I spend before we engage in mediation to attempt to resolve this case?
- What will be accomplished by this pre-mediation litigation and associated expenses and time?
- What are the pros and cons of “early mediation”?
Chuck serves as an outside neutral mediator for employment disputes, real property disputes and business disputes.
Additionally, as a lawyer for his clients, Chuck also represents his clients in the mediation process by educating and preparing his clients for the mediation, filing a mediation brief and providing legal advice and support to his clients during the mediation hearing.