Why choose mediation over court?
You will discover many advantages when comparing mediation vs court, but the best reason is that mediation is private.
Unlike court, which produces a public record that can be used against you in the future, all aspects of the mediation process remain confidential. In business disputes, mediation ensures your business or trade secrets remain secret, or in divorce cases, mediation ensures the details about your private life remain private!
Court is Public
Just consider the fact that every word spoken in court is transcribed by a courtroom stenographer. Those transcriptions are official records and become available to the public for future reference in perpetuity.
Anyone researching your past may review that public record and interpret what they discover however they choose. Attorneys and law firms routinely use public records to find embarrassing leverage or to establish a pattern of behavior against a person they intend to sue.
The fact that mediation remains private is all the reason anyone should need to avoid traditional court proceedings and choose mediation to resolve any legal matter.
The Definition of Mediation
Mediation is a compelling alternative to court in which the parties in dispute retain the power of decision making, negotiate and mutually agree on a resolution in a private setting.
Mediation is Practical
Because it can be less expensive and takes less time than traditional court proceedings, mediation has become extremely popular for all types of cases from civil and business disputes to divorce and family law as well.
Mediation is the most intelligent and reliable pathway to attain a desirable result. Instead of risking the outcome on an attorney and a judge, in mediation, you maintain control throughout each step of the resolution process. For these reasons, mediation increases the odds exponentially for an outcome that best suits you.
How Mediation Works
First, you will need an attorney to assist and advise you throughout the mediation process. Then, a mediator is mutually selected and approved by the attorneys of both parties.
Unlike court where you must constantly face the other party when testifying against them and again when they testify against you, in mediation each party is kept in a separate room. In fact, upon arrival to mediation, you and your attorney will be ushered into a private room where you will remain until the process is complete at which point you will be escorted from the building never having to see the opposing party.
The mediator will spend time with each party independently, and then go back and forth negotiating and calibrating the terms of a resolution in which both parties ultimately agree.
The independent attorney called a mediator, will enter the room assigned to you and your attorney to explain the rules. Next, the mediator will hear your opening statement which will include your grievances as well as the terms you seek in order to reach a resolution. After your opening statement the mediator will go to the room where the other side is waiting to give their opening statement and begin the negotiations.
The mediator will go back and forth between the parties negotiating each of the terms needed to arrive at a mutually equitable resolution. Depending upon the circumstances and the willingness of the parties to give and take, this process may take minutes, hours or even days.
The Conclusion of Mediation
The conclusion of mediation occurs when negotiated terms have been reached and both parties sign the resolution. The resolution is then filed and becomes permanent and binding, just as a court case would.
If Mediation Fails
Mediation fails when the parties in dispute cannot reach resolution on part or all of the terms being negotiated. When mediation fails the parties in dispute may reattempt mediation or they must take their chances in court and a judge will render verdict.