Why Choose Mediation?
Why should you choose mediation instead of litigating your case in an arbitration or lawsuit? When parties have a dispute that they have been unable to resolve themselves, they often believe their only recourse is litigation. Litigation, however, is expensive, time-consuming, risky, and unpredictable.
Mediation offers a number of advantages over more traditional forms of dispute resolution.
Mediation is Relatively Quick
Mediation will resolve your dispute in a much shorter time frame than litigation. Instead of waiting up to a year or even longer to have your dispute heard and decided by a judge, jury, or arbitrator, a mediation can usually be scheduled and completed within about a month.
Mediation is Less Expensive
Preparing a case for a trial or arbitration requires substantial attorney time and fees, as well as significant out-of-pocket costs for things like depositions, expert witnesses, and court fees. Mediation, if successful and if completed before a trial date is imminent, allows the parties to minimize their attorneys’ fees and costs and conserve other resources that would necessarily be consumed in the litigation.
Mediation Provides You With More Influence Over the Outcome
Mediation allows the parties to have influence over every step of the process and greater control over the ultimate outcome.
When a dispute is litigated, the court, arbitrator, or jury is bound by the constraints of the law and the available legal remedies. There is no room for creativity or the ability to customize a solution which meets the unique needs and goals of the parties.
In arbitration, there are very few grounds upon which a party is permitted to challenge the arbitrator’s decision and, consequently, the parties are required to live with the decision they receive, whether they like it or not. In a lawsuit, if the parties are unhappy with the decision of a judge or jury, an expensive and time-consuming appellate process must be undertaken to challenge that decision.
In a mediation, the parties are their own decision makers; they can decide whether to settle the dispute or not. The parties are not bound by the limitations of legally available remedies and are free to craft their own solutions which can include components that may not be available as part of a lawsuit or an arbitration.
Mediation Can Help Preserve or Restore a Valuable Relationship
Mediation helps to preserve important relationships. Litigation is by nature adversarial and conflict-driven. Mediation, on the other hand, is more collaborative and solution-centered.
In addition, because mediation is a voluntary process, it provides a better environment for achieving a durable solution that can allow the parties to move forward with less residual hostility. Studies have shown that agreements reached in mediation have a greater likelihood of long-term success as the parties themselves have contributed to the ultimate solution.
This is particularly important for disputes between parties who will have an ongoing relationship like landlords and tenants, employees and employers, vendors and customers, contractors and subcontractors, family members, or neighbors.
Mediation is Private and Confidential
Mediation is private and confidential. Your financial information and private, personal business do not become part of a public court record. The discussions and information shared during the mediation cannot be used against you in a pending or subsequent legal proceeding.
Parties choose mediation to avoid the risks of litigation, save time and expense, increase the amount of influence they retain in the equation, preserve and restore valuable relationships and ensure their business remains confidential and out of the public record.
Contact an Experienced Southern California Civil Mediator
If you would like to explore whether your specific dispute may be a good fit for mediation,
we invite you to contact our office at (949) 250-7184 to speak with Jeanne personally for a consultation.