Most attorneys can quickly identify the top advantages of mediation: it saves parties the time, the expense and the stress of going to trial and offers a greater degree of privacy for dispute resolution.
But mediation offers a much wider range of benefits that may go overlooked or are less appreciated by attorneys. When considering mediation for your case, it’s worth taking into consideration these benefits and whether they could lead to better outcomes for your clients.
- Mediation offers greater flexibility for creative solutions. Once a case is before a judge or jury at trial, the potential outcomes for the parties have narrowed significantly. In contrast, in mediation, the parties can explore a wide variety of monetary and nonmonetary ways to reach resolution. Would a party want complete confidentiality? Would an apology from an offending party suffice for a client who just wants their side to be heard? Is an offer of reinstatement a possibility? These are options in mediation that a jury trial generally cannot offer.
- Mediation empowers the parties. During sessions, our mediators facilitate discussions between the parties about their cases’ weaknesses and strengths. The parties, however, ultimately retain control over outcomes. As mediators, we at Eischens + Vogel Mediation Solutions serve as neutral third parties and help to educate clients about their cases and potential outcomes of going to trial, but leave to them the decision of whether to settle. In mediation, the parties work together to form an agreement, which can be more satisfying, and less stressful, than leaving outcomes to a judge or jury. We know that compromise is tough, particularly in contentious and sensitive matters, but we aim to offer clients a space where the parties can hash out their disputes and come to an agreement that is satisfactory for each side.
- Mediation helps preserve parties’ relationships. As trial attorneys are aware, trials are adversarial and necessarily end with winners and losers. As a result, relationships between the parties may break down and become irreparably damaged during litigation. Mediation is focused on bringing the parties together and giving them the opportunity to reach an agreement jointly, so it can help lessen the more contentious aspects of litigation. If the parties wish to preserve their relationship, or plan to continue working together following their dispute, this is an especially attractive advantage of mediation.
- Mediation improves compliance with settlement agreements. Because settlement agreements crafted in mediation have buy-in from the parties, they are widely believed to have a greater compliance rate. The American Bar Association ties this greater compliance to higher satisfaction rates among those who participate in mediation as compared to those who go to court.
- Mediation serves as a foundation for future disputes. Should the parties have an ongoing relationship that results in additional disputes down the road, having a prior mediation can serve as a starting point for future negotiations. Having previously mediated a dispute successfully, they are more likely to have the tools needed to successfully navigate future disagreements should they arise, without accessing an adversarial means of dispute resolution.
Eischens + Vogel Mediation Solutions mediates many types of civil disputes, from employment to personal injury to commercial matters. Contact us for more information and to schedule a mediation.