1. What are the most common benefits of Mediation?

Mediation has many benefits.  Some of the most common are:

  • Low cost.  Mediation usually costs significantly less than other forms of dispute.  It can curtail or avoid litigation altogether, and resolve a dispute before it escalates to become expensive, draining, aggravating, and complicated.
  • Risk reduction. Mediation can reduce risk and yield better outcomes by helping you focus on your priorities and by moving the dispute into a smaller process-driven arena.
  • Stress reduction.  Mediation can reduce stress and uncertainty by allowing parties to resolve disputes in a guided, focused environment, while giving participants the ultimate control of the outcome.
  • Better relationships. Mediation can stabilize, repair or restore working relationships, and when appropriate end a relationship in a more productive way.
  • Skill development. That’s right.  People who mediate usually come out of the experience being better negotiators. 
  • How do I get a mediation started, especially if the other party might be suspicious?
  • How do I know if the other party will mediate in good faith?

Usually, if the other party is also willing to mediate, they’re coming in good faith.  However, if they’re not, this generally surfaces very quickly within a mediation.  Mediation is informal enough for each party to get a better sense of the other party’s potential, but structured enough to keep each party “safe”.  In nearly all cases, anything shared in a mediation is not admissible in court, and confidentiality of the process means that nothing gets shared unless you want it shared.

  • Do Mediations ever “Not Resolve”, and if so, what happens?

As mentioned above, mediations usually resolve when both parties arrive in good faith.  Sometimes they can last longer than the initial planned timeframe, but even those cases, the mediation is just not yet complete.  The mediation usually concludes within a short period of time after the formal proceedings. 

If a mediation looks like it really is unlikely to resolve any time soon, or not at all, this could be because either one or both parties aren’t ready to make an agreement, or they may just prefer to resolve the dispute in another way. In such cases, the mediation usually sheds light on the dispute in a way that’s valuable to all parties.