Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Assisting two or more parties, the mediator, a third or nonparty, assists the parties in negotiating a settlement. Litigants may mediate disputes in a variety of domains, such as commercial, workplace, injury, damages, and family matters.
Mediation has a structure, timetable and dynamics that “ordinary” negotiation lacks, is confidential and in many instances mediation is court-ordered, and other times participation is voluntary. Unlike an arbitrator, a mediator will not render a binding decision that decides the case. While many cases resolve via mediation no case must resolve at mediation.
Mediation is quick, private, fair, and inexpensive compared to a lawsuit. Most mediation sessions last only a few hours or a day, depending on the type of case. In contrast, lawsuits often take many months, or even years, to resolve. In many disputes, the mediator’s neutral perspective enables the parties to take a fresh look at the conflict and at potential solutions in order to move past a standstill. A mediator will help the parties develop an effective communication and negotiation process.
Advantages of Mediation over Litigation
- Avoiding excessive expense, time, and stress
- Informally identifying the concrete problems that need resolution
- Confidentially surfacing and resolving emotional issues that interfere with agreement
- Guiding discussion so that people and issues do not become polarized
- Bringing out common interests
- Reducing bitterness, hostility, anger, and resistance
- Involving parties in collaborative problem solving and planning
- Parties controlling the outcome rather than the judge or jury
- Preserving personal dignity and respect so that agreements last
- Preventing future conflicts through conflict systems design techniques
- Resolving a dispute in a non-adversarial way so that important relationships are repaired and preserved
The mediators at The Center are focused on finding a successful resolution to every case. They are experienced and well prepared mediators committed to reaching a settlement in a timely manner. The Center – Mediation by Coots, Henke & Wheeler offers civil and domestic mediation services in many types of practice areas and legal issues.