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Is Mediation the Right Way to Settle My Dispute?

Litigation can be quite costly. Even if you are in the right, the cost of bringing a case to trial can cost more than what you may recover. The discovery process can be invasive of each party’s personal lives and once on record with the Court, personal details are a public record. One way to circumvent these issues is mediation. Mediation is a method of conflict resolution between parties using a neutral, third-party mediator to settle disputes outside of court. Benefits of mediation can include saving money, time and relationships.

Advantages of Mediation

Advantages of Mediation, particularly with a Rule 31 Mediator, may include:

  • Greater Control. Once a case goes to trial, the outcome is completely at the mercy of the judge or jury. Since mediation requires the parties to negotiate in good faith, there is a better chance of finding a middle ground both parties can find reasonable.
  • Maintain Confidentiality. Unlike a legal proceeding, which is a public record, the process and content of mediation remains private.
  • Shorter Timeframe. For a case to make its way through the judicial process via the Courts, you are looking at a lengthy process. Court dockets are full and you may have to wait for months or even years for your case to ever be heard before a judge or jury. With mediation, the process can be shortened giving you a result more quickly.
  • More Economic. Again, litigation is expensive. Using the mediation process can be less expensive as the formal discovery process may be shorter or less invasive. This difference may result in fewer billable hours paid to your attorney and less additional expenses being incurred. If a resolution can be reached through mediation, the length of time it takes to resolve the dispute will be shorter thereby allowing parties closure.
  • Preserves Relationships. By curtailing some problems created by the above issues, many relationships can be saved from mudslinging, personal attacks and finger-pointing that often happens during a trial.

With an increased reliance on mediation by the courts, it is always a good idea to discuss mediation with your attorney.

Mediation may not necessarily lead to a resolution. Not everyone will be willing or able to come to an agreement. However, mediation may aid in the final resolution at trial making it worth a try prior to or even during the litigation process. If nothing else, mediation is helpful in understanding what each party is really seeking.

Might mediation be the right approach for your situation? Attorney Jeffrey R. Murrell is a certified Rule 31 mediator. Call us at (865)453 -1091 for a free consultation or send us a quick email: [email protected].

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