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Top Reasons to Select Mediation over Arbitration

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What are the top reasons to select mediation instead of litigation? Mediation is more flexible. It's more creative and it costs a whole lot less in terms of money and time. When you go into mediation it's a voluntary process. It's confidential and the parties have the flexibility to come up with whatever solution makes sense to them. Depending on the type of case, the parties might be separated and not see each other during the day or they might be together in the room with the mediator facilitating their
conversation.

Mediation is a process where you're selecting a neutral third party who is objective, independent, has no stake in the outcome of the mediation other than to help the parties come up with a solution to resolve their dispute. The mediator is there to help the parties facilitate, coming up with solutions and really helping the parties be as creative as possible and figuring out what is the dispute, what are the problems and how can we resolve the problems. 

The reasons that I tell people to select mediation is it costs less. It's much more quickly done than a trial or even an arbitration where you have to follow very specific rules and it takes a long time. Litigation is very expensive. You're paying lawyers. You're paying experts. You're paying for the preparation of all sorts of paperwork, doing depositions to prepare for the litigation whereas in mediation you don’t need to do that.

The other thing that I like about mediation is that you can bring to the mediation any person or persons who will help you resolve the dispute. If you an imbalance in power for example, an employer versus a single employee, the employee can bring people to the mediation if he or she wants to to help her feel more comfortable and to give support. Whereas in a trial in litigation that person might be in the courtroom but that person would not be in counsel table with the individual. We're in a conference room. We are informal. The mediator often goes back and forth between the parties but sometimes is facilitating the conversation directly with the parties together so that they
can work out their disputes.

Another thing about mediation that I like is the parties are the focal point as opposed tothe lawyers. The parties' dispute is being heard by the mediator who asks a lot of questions to get to the real issues in the dispute. Whereas in court sometimes in litigation sometimes the legal issues, the technicalities, the evidentiary issues, the motions sort of overwhelm the reason the parties have a dispute to begin with. In mediation we can really focus on what the needs of the parties are, what cause the dispute and how to resolve the dispute.

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