In a litigation situation, it can be very difficult for parties to communicate and agree on a resolution. This can cause the case to be costly in terms of time and money for both sides. Mediation allows participants to settle the dispute in a safe, neutral, confidential and cost effective way.
During mediation, the mediator meets with each party in private rooms and discusses possible avenues for resolution. Typically, the mediation takes from a few hours to a full day depending on the complexity of the issues and the number of parties involved. Unlike court and arbitration processes, which are very formal and structured, mediation is more of a collaborative process. Participants are encouraged to bring any information that they believe may be relevant and helpful in exploring potential resolutions. Mediation is also a much more flexible process, allowing the parties to tailor their agreement to suit their specific needs.
The outcome of a mediation is often more satisfactory to the participants than a resolution that is imposed by a judge or arbitrator. It can repair important business and personal relationships, as well as provide an opportunity to develop new skills for communication in the future.
Depending on the program, Mediation services are free or available at a reduced rate. Mediation can be used for a wide range of disputes and workplace issues. However, mediation is not appropriate for matters that involve creating or changing law, addressing serious criminal issues or challenging existing legal precedent.