Almost no one likes conflict. Disputes of any kind are mentally, emotionally and potentially physically stressful. While some disputes need to reach resolution in court, mediation is often a good way to avoid a long court battle. If you are unsure whether your dispute could benefit from mediation, let our team at Slepian, Schwartz & Landgaard help you decide.
1. You Are in Control
One of the biggest advantages of mediation is, you are in control of the entire proceeding. Unlike in a court proceeding, you are not ordered to hand over documents, provide evidence or prove your case. In mediation, there is no burden of proof; instead, the focus is on how to solve the issue so both parties are satisfied at the end of the proceeding. There are not necessarily “right” or “wrong” answers.
Additionally, there are no “right” or “wrong” people in mediation. Attorneys do not file papers or accuse anyone during these proceedings, so no one feels the need to go on the defensive. This drastically reduces negative outcomes like yelling, tears, ultimatums and off-topic arguments, all of which are reasons people seek mediation in the first place. Note that your mediator is not your attorney. He or she is not interested in whether you “win,” nor is he or she interested in making one party look better than the other. The mediator appreciates both sides and crafts solutions that work for everyone.
2. Creates Thoughtful and Creative Solutions
The solutions you will find in a courtroom are bound by the laws governing your dispute. What you think you want or need may not be an option for your judge or attorney. Most of the time, there is only one acceptable solution. For example, if the judge finds for the plaintiff, the defendant must pay the exact amount of damages the plaintiff is seeking, or otherwise, do exactly what the judge says to do. There is no “wiggle room” or opportunity for the plaintiff and defendant to talk through the solution themselves.
Contrast this with mediation, where creative solutions are the order of the day. Your mediator is trained to build rapport with both you and the opposing party and to think outside the box. The solutions he or she suggests will be based on the individuals at the table. If money must change hands, it can be what both parties can afford. If one party must make non-monetary restitution, both parties can work together to decide what that entails. A mediated solution may have several components or requirements, which can be met on your timetable.
3. Faster Resolutions
Many people choose mediation over court proceedings because going to court is expensive. While court may look like the best solution, the proceedings could drag on for months or years. By then, it’s possible you, the other party and even your attorneys might forget why you started the proceedings in the first place. As noted, everyone’s stress levels will increase, leading to a more contentious situation than anyone anticipated.
Mediation eliminates money and time issues. It is notably cheaper than court proceedings, partially because attorneys, judges, juries and evidence are not involved. Solutions can be reached in a few meetings; in the best case scenario, one mediation session will solve your dispute. At the end of a mediation session, you will go home satisfied and be able to breathe much easier.
More Mediation Questions?
If you are still unsure whether your dispute needs mediation, contact Slepian, Schwartz & Landgaard today. We will answer all your questions and listen to your concerns, to help you determine if you can bypass the courtroom in favor of mediation.
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