Are you weak if you mediate a dispute?
No, you are not. On the contrary, to take some control of your own destiny and make your decisions is strength.
Mediation is a tried and tested dispute resolution option encouraged by the Courts as a means of avoiding expensive litigation. It has a high record of success.
Mediation is a process of facilitated negotiation. A trained mediator is engaged by the parties to assist them in reaching settlement. The process involves the parties attending a venue. Usually several rooms are required, one for each party and one for the mediator and/or a joint meeting room (the parties do not have to meet if they do not wish to). The mediator is not a Judge and will not decide the matter. It is for the parties to try and reach agreement with his help.
The mediator shuttles back and forth between the parties exploring potential settlement options. The process is ‘without prejudice’ and therefore things said in the mediation cannot be repeated in proceedings. It is also confidential which means that a party can discuss matters privately with the mediator in their meeting room and unless they authorise the mediator to disclose information to the other side it stays in that room. This allows a party to more freely explore options and discuss offers. The process is also voluntary so a party can leave whenever they wish though this is unusual and no settlement can be achieved if a party leaves.
If a settlement is reached it is recorded in a written agreement that is legally binding. One of the greatest advantages of mediation is that a party can retain control and make decisions on settlement. If the matter is litigated much control is with the lawyers presenting the case and decision lies with the judge. At trial a party is often a spectator looking on while others decide his or her fate. Mediation also allows more (even inventive) options for settlement and sometimes outcomes that could not be achieved or even ordered by the court.
The quality of mediators varies as do their fees. We would be happy to arrange, advise and to represent you in mediation. Please contact Keith Hardington [email protected] 01756 700200.