Is Mediation Right for You?
Mediation is a process where the parties control the outcome of their dispute under the guidance of a neutral mediator. There are numerous benefits to mediation including cost savings both financially and emotionally to parties who are in dispute. Mediation is used to solve all sorts of disputes including personal injury, employment contracts, neighborhood conflicts, eldercare issues, and business and divorce/custody issues. Mediation is a positive form of conflict resolution and works best when both parties are committed to a peaceful resolution.
But how do you know if Mediation is right for you?
Below is a 9-question survey that will help you decide if Mediation is the path for you.
- Are both parties willing to come to the table?
- Are you willing to be a part of the solution to your legal issue?
- Are you willing to make a good faith effort to negotiate?
- Are you willing to openly discuss the facts of the case with the goal of settlement in mind?
- Is cost an issue in settling your case?
- Would you prefer to keep your case confidential?
- Do you have an interest in maintaining a relationship (business, marital or otherwise) with the other party when the dispute is resolved?
- Is your dispute tangible such as money, property, rights and licenses, or custody?
- Do you have a legal issue that could benefit from a creative solution?
When Mediation May Not Be Right
While mediation can provide a reasonable and effective alternative to traditional litigation, some disputes do not lend themselves to mediation. These may include cases in which:
- The case is genuinely frivolous or opportunistic
- One party is seeking retribution or revenge
- One or more of the parties, essential to the conflict, refuse to participate
- There is fear of violence between the parties and the mediation would not be safe
- A party is acting in bad faith (e.g., wants to use the process for delay only or to try to avoid disclosure of relevant information)
- People who are not involved in your dispute might be prejudiced by the outcome
- The constitutional validity of an act or law is challenged
- Public access to the information or public participation in the process is desirable.