Advantages of Mediation

The advantages of mediation are almost endless, as most parties will voluntarily enter mediation to prevent a litigation suit that could cost significant time and money. Specifically, mediation is a process by which parties in conflict are given an opportunity to resolve the issues amongst themselves outside of the formal court system. It is a more informal type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process that is overseen by a neutral mediator with no prior dealings or relations to the parties. The mediator will help the parties communicate during the mediation and resolve the underlying conflict(s).

Mediation Over Other Types of ADR or Litigation

There are several advantages to mediation, all of which showcase the benefits of mediation over other types of ADR or even litigation. Some of the significant advantages include the following:

  • Mediation is less expensive than civil litigation or arbitration
  • Mediation is a quicker process than civil litigation
  • The parties can fully express themselves in mediation
  • The parties can preserve the relationship with one another
  • After one conflict is settled, the parties might need to enter mediation again for another unrelated conflict
  • Mediation is a less formal process, which allows the parties to feel more comfortable reaching a settlement regarding the conflict
  • Mediation is confidential
  • Mediation doesn’t provide punitive damages, which could be a benefit to both parties to prevent additional costs

Advantages of Mediation

Mediation is much less expensive than both civil litigation and arbitration. While mediators charge an hourly rate, the process is generally complete within a few days. In fact, some mediators provide no charge if one of the parties is a nonprofit organization. Generally, attorneys aren’t necessary during the mediation process, unlike a litigation proceeding where attorneys are usually in charge of the suit, thus charging exponential fees. If the litigation suit takes months or even years to settle, this means more time and money spent for both parties.

Furthermore, preparing for mediation is simpler than preparing for a litigation lawsuit or an arbitration proceeding. Similar to an arbitration proceeding, mediation can result in a formal binding decision made between the parties. However, unlike arbitration, mediation won’t require the additional formalities or costs associated with a binding arbitration agreement. In most cases, mediation can be held at one of the parties’ residences. However, an arbitration proceeding requires a jobsite visit and separate arbitration hearing at a neutral location, which could result in higher fees and additional time spent during the preparation phase of arbitration.

In mediation, the parties can fully express themselves by voicing their concerns and thoughts regarding the issues at hand. However, in a litigation suit, the attorneys do most of the talking. Therefore, unless you can take the stand during the legal suit, your voice will not be heard.

Furthermore, arbitration proceedings are led by an arbitrator, who will play an active role in the proceeding in the same way that attorneys play an active role in a litigation suit. This means that the parties will not be able to freely communicate with one another during such proceedings.

When it comes to contractual conflicts, the parties usually want to resolve the issue without going to court. This will help them save time, money, and preserve the overall business relationship. Believe it or not, it’s common for parties to enter mediation to handle any conflicts regarding the contract. This specific process is the most beneficial for both parties who want to ensure that there are no hard feelings and continue doing business with the other party for the foreseeable future.

If the parties agree on a settlement during the mediation process, but have another conflict arise a month later, the parties can again enter mediation regarding that separate issue. The prior issue will not be considered or reviewed during the new mediation process.

As previously noted, the mediation process is less formal. This allows both parties to feel comfortable during the proceeding. The parties are willing to treat one another more fairly when meeting with the other party in a less formal environment.

Mediation is usually confidential, unlike litigation lawsuits. Therefore, the public will not be made aware of transcripts, documents, or other records used during the mediation process.

Mediation doesn’t result in any type of punitive damages, as would be the case in a civil litigation suit. Therefore, the parties can prevent additional fees or problems associated with damages that are awarded in a legal suit.

If you need help learning more about the advantages of mediation, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.