what is mediation?
Mediation is a more relaxed and less formal process than arbitration or trial. The parties and counsel decide the issues to be resolved. With the assistance of the mediator, the issues are clearly discussed and the possibilities for settlement thoroughly explored. At the right moment, it can be very helpful to involve a fair-minded, patient – but direct, neutral evaluator in any dispute. An experienced neutral evaluator can usually interact with each party to provide an accurate assessment of the relative strengths and weaknesses of their position, as well as the positions of the others involved. A judicial perspective of the likely outcome if tried before a judge or jury can often assist the parties, thereby saving time, money, unnecessary aggravation and disappointment.
A well- managed mediation is cost-effective, efficient and can ensure that all parties gain a measure of control over the outcome of most any legal conflict. Mediation avoids the uncertainty that results from submitting a matter to arbitration, or a long, expensive jury or court trial. Because all participants must agree on the final result, neither a judge nor jury has a say – so there is no chance of a mistake, a mistrial or ongoing uncertainty due to an appeal. Even a partially successful mediation can help eliminate certain issues, while prioritizing the importance of others. If a settlement is not initially reached, it may occur before a verdict is read, judgment is pronounced, or appeal of an unexpected adverse result must be filed.