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When Mediation Can Work

When Mediation Can Work

To understand how mediation works, let’s compare it to the other two types of alternative dispute resolution. One is litigation, which is going to court and letting a judge decide. Another is arbitration, where the arbitrator makes the decision.

What both litigation and arbitration have in common is that the final outcome is out of the hands of the participants. Arbitration does offer the parties the chance to pick a mutually agreed upon arbitrator, whereas no such option exists in court with the judge. But once an arbitrator is agreed upon, their authority to resolve the dispute is legally binding.

Mediation is different. The mediator does not have binding legal authority to force a resolution on the parties. Rather, the mediator is skilled at helping the parties negotiate. As an impartial third party with experience mediating numerous disputes, the mediator can often see potential solutions that the parties themselves might not.

Mediation Benefits

Mediation offers the benefits of control and collaboration. Control in that neither party has to agree to a resolution they find unsatisfactory. Collaboration in that both parties must work together unless they want to end up in front of an arbitrator or judge. 

Mediation can result in good outcomes in less time, at less expense, and with less bad blood between the parties. It takes the right set of circumstances for it all to work. 

The parties that come to mediation have serious differences and have not been able to resolve them independently. But mediation requires that there at least be some level of a working relationship. This is easier when both parties have incentives to work together. 

Divorcing parents with children are an example. There’s no getting around the fact that the parents will need to interact with each other after the divorce. The parents know it will be better for everyone if there’s at least a manageable relationship. The parents have an incentive to work together, regardless of any negative feelings they may be harboring towards each other. 

The same might apply to entities in a business relationship. If a contractual dispute can be resolved, these might be two businesses that are a natural fit for working together. If the leaders of both businesses and their legal teams see that, there will be a strong motivation to work together. 

The desire of the parties to work together not only makes mediation more likely to be successful, but it also means that mediation can be a crucial first step in healing a relationship. 

How the Mediation Process Works

A mediator will begin the process with a private intake meeting with each client. We’ll learn what each party wants and what they might be able to live without and gather any other relevant information. The goal is to allow the mediator to understand what’s at stake in the dispute and how each party sees the landscape. 

Joint sessions are a chance for the disputing parties to air out their differences with the guidance of a mediator to work through tensions and point to where solutions may lie. 

Finally, we come to the stage of agreement. Each party reviews the proposed agreement and consults with their lawyers. If satisfactory, they can sign off on it, and the dispute is over. 

Walking the Road Her Clients Walk
Call for Help with Your Case

Call for Help with Your Case

Lexemy Law, LLC has over 15 years of experience mediating difficult disputes. We know how to think outside the box, and we understand how to combine creative thinking with a detailed understanding of the dispute, and then use all our experience to lead parties toward a good solution. 

Call (503) 726-1079 or contact us online to set up an initial consultation.

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