Mediation is a process that involves decision making and conflict resolution between two or more parties with the help of an outside party known as a mediator. This mediator is chosen by the parties involved based on his or her experience, training, expertise related to the subject at hand and fees involved to help lead the arguing parties to a solution in a timely, less expensive manner than litigation. Anyone can mediate a problem they are having just as long as the problem does not involve statutory, judicial or regulatory case law.
Mediation has become so popular because there are only a handful of fees involved in the process. The mediator is the only person involved that charges a fee. There is no court reporter to pay, no court fees to pay, no expensive lawyer fees to pay and there are no fees to be paid to the lawyer if you win the case. There is the onetime fee to hire the mediator.
Another popular advantage of mediation over litigation is the fact that the process is extremely timely. Litigation can be drawn out over weeks and months while mediation can end as quickly as one week because the two parties do not have to attend court during the process. The majority of mediation sessions can be completed after one half-day session. Some cases may need full-day sessions and that is still quicker than the litigation process.
What most people don't know is that mediation is legally binding just like litigation. This means that once the parties involved agree on a resolution to their problem, it is documented by the written word and that document becomes legally binding. So, if one of the parties decides not to abide by the agreement, the other party has a legal document that can be used in court if necessary.
Mediation provides the parties involved to meet on their own time. With litigation, the parties involved must meet at the specified time regulated by the court involved. Mediation is only between the mediator and the parties, who can decide on their meeting schedule as it fits them best.
One of the most intriguing benefits of mediation is the fact that the parties involved decide on the outcome of the session and not a third party judge. The mediator is not present to rule in favor of one side or another but to move the process along as quickly as possible and as successfully as possible. The mediator is present to explain things and lend a helping hand to both parties with an unbiased view. With mediation, the parties involved come to their own decision regarding the argument. There is no judge present to say that one party was right and the other was wrong. This makes mediation extremely attractive to people looking to solve a problem.
Another important advantage of mediation is that lawyers are not required for mediation to occur. However, savvy parties will hire lawyers to represent their interests in mediation. In fact, the number of parties that take lawyers into their mediated disputes is rising as these parties typically come out winners in any form of dispute. This is due largely in part to the counsel and representation of an attorney present during any mediation proceedings.
Another benefit of mediation is that once two parties have agreed to mediation and a mediator has been hired, the session or sessions can begin almost immediately. No paperwork needs to be filled out for the courts and a date does not have to be set five months into the future for the first meeting. Once the two parties agree on a start time, which is usually the next day, then mediation gets underway.