Mediation is an excellent resource for those who wish to save money and time while resolving their dispute. It further takes away the uncertainty of a trial.During mediation, a third party neutral, called a mediator, assists the parties as they negotiate and communicate how they would like to see the case handled. During mediation, the mediator does not make any decisions for the parties. Rather, the parties have the power to create their own settlement agreement.
Trials focuses on a “winner” and a “loser.” Mediation, however, focuses on compromise, which contributes to its high rate of success in settling cases. When the timing for mediation is right, the chances of settlement increase exponentially.
If the parties wait too long to schedule mediation, settlement can become less likely. As a case progresses, the parties often become frustrated and hardened in their positions. At this point, settling a case at mediation can be more difficult but certainly not impossible.
A case should go to mediation when the parties have enough information to make an informed decision about a settlement agreement. Mediation will not benefit the parties if certain documents have not yet been reviewed, or if a key witness has not yet been deposed. The parties must work diligently to exchange and review the necessary evidence in the case to schedule mediation as soon as possible.
When mediation is scheduled at this point, the parties are more likely to settle. They are well aware of the facts and legal arguments in the case and are somewhat cooperative and open.