pacificpolicies on Why Choose Mediation?
Suppose that in each case, the parties and their lawyers have exhausted their attempts to negotiate a resolution on their own. They’re ready for outside help in ending their dispute, yet they don’t know where to turn.
When it comes to dispute resolution, we now have many choices. Understandably, disputants are often confused about which process to use. This article offers some guidance, adapted from
Frank E. A. Sander and Lukasz Rozdeiczer’s chapter on the topic in The Handbook of Dispute Resolution (Jossey-Bass, 2005).
Here’s a review of the three basic types of dispute resolution:
The goal of mediation is for a neutral third party to help disputants come to consensus on their own.
Mediation can be effective at allowing parties to vent their feelings and fully explore their grievances.
Working with parties together and sometimes separately, mediators try to help them hammer out a resolution that is sustainable, voluntary, and nonbinding.
In arbitration, a neutral third party serves as a judge who is responsible for resolving the dispute.
• The arbitrator listens as each side argues its case and presents relevant evidence, then renders a binding decision.
The disputants can negotiate virtually any aspect of the arbitration process, including whether lawyers will be present and which standards of evidence will be used.
Arbitrators hand down decisions that are usually confidential and that cannot be appealed.
Like mediation, arbitration tends to be much less expensive than litigation.
The most familiar type of dispute resolution, civil litigation typically involves a defendant facing off against a plaintiff before either a judge or a judge and jury.
Lawyers typically dominate litigation, which often ends in a settlement agreement during the pretrial period of discovery and preparation.
Cost – Time and money can be saved and emotional stress can be reduced through early resolution of the dispute.
Speed – Mediation can be arranged in a relatively short period of time and has the effect of bringing settlement negotiations to a head quite quickly.
Everyone experiences conflict. Unresolved conflict is costly, stressful, time-consuming and can cause many other problems.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a negotiation method in which an impartial third party, called a mediator, helps the parties to resolve their issues. Mediators facilitate communication between parties. They encourage the exchange of information and urge the parties to look at the problem from different points of view and to explore ideas for dispute resolution. The parties, not the mediator, ultimately make the decisions about the terms of their agreement.
■■ Mediation saves money ■■ Mediation is quicker compared to a court action ■■ Mediation works
• It can be used for many types of conflicts
• It is practical, safe and private
• It can help to maintain relationships and provide opportunities for personal growth
• It can offer unique solutions not available through court
• It provides settlement agreements that can be enforced
• Settlement rates are high
• People are very satisfied with the mediation process
This is where you can find information about mediation, negotiation and arbitration – the work I love doing – and some background information about the field of alternative dispute resolution and research into best practices .
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