Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative dispute resolution has become a more advantageous, expedited and amicable way of resolving disputes leading to the avoidance of high cost litigation or arbitration. With mediation, the parties agree to a private, third-party neutral, who facilitates the negotiations and/or settlements of the dispute. Mediation is unique because it is consensual and provides the parties the opportunity to make their own decisions rather than have it imposed on them as is the case in arbitration or adjudication.
The mediator is there to guide and assist, and not to render judgments. The mediator’s job is to identify the strengths and weaknesses in each party’s case and attempt to find a common ground; a fair resolution of the dispute.
One major benefit of mediating a dispute is confidentiality. Nothing said during the mediation or gathered in preparation of is admissible later in court proceedings. This even includes the actual settlement agreement created during mediation, unless it specifically states that it is intended to be admissible and enforceable in subsequent court proceedings.
Greater Participant Control over Outcome
Mediation provides participants greater control over the process and outcome in resolving the dispute. For example, during the mediation session, the participants themselves can have the session conducted jointly with all parties meeting all at once, or speak separately with the mediator and then have the mediator convey the information and settlement offers to each party separately.
Additionally, the participants decide whether they will agree to resolve the dispute, and what the terms of the agreement entail. This allows the participants quicker and greater access to creative and unique solutions that are better tailored to their needs.
Because mediation does not require the documentary evidence necessary for litigation, it is less expensive for the participants. With mediation there occurs extensive discovery, fact-finding, preparation, exchange of formal pleadings, interviewing, preparation of witnesses, and the organization of key documents generated during the project that are necessary to make the complicated nature of construction more understandable for both the court and jury are not required.
As you can see, the informality of mediation greatly reduces the time and cost associated with other forms of adjudication, allowing most mediations to be completed in one day or for more complex cases, between one to three sessions.
Thus, before threatening to sue, or going down the path of litigation when faced with a business dispute, reach out to the mediators at Kallas Legal to find out how you can amicably find a resolution and save the business relationship as well as the business’ reputation that you have worked so hard to uphold.