A frequent question about mediation in Arizona is the cost. One thing is certain: mediation is almost always less expensive than litigation. Because mediation can resolve conflicts quickly (generally taking hours instead of months or years), the
cost is naturally less. Further, litigation is expensive because it includes: (1) discovery (depositions, interrogatories, subpoenas and other formal requests for information); (2) an often frequent exchange of letters between attorneys to address issues and gather information; (3) retention of experts and interviews of potential witnesses; (4) preparation of exhibits and trial questions; and (5) actual time in court. It is not unusual to spend $5,000.00 just in the week or two prior to trial and tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars for the whole litigation, depending on the matter litigated.
While attorneys and other professionals can be used in the mediation process, it is also possible to complete a mediation with one professional – the mediator. What is more, the parties to a mediation generally share the cost of the mediator, thereby further reducing the cost.
The cost of the actual mediation varies depending on the amount of time you need to resolve your conflict. Also, mediators charge a variety of different hourly rates. Many trained mediators, including this author, charge around $250.00 per hour.
While you may be able to get a “discount” mediator, the old adage – you get what you pay for – often holds true. In Arizona, anyone can call themselves a mediator – one does not need any training or skill to do so. A bad mediator is frequently worse than no mediator at all.
Alona M. Gottfried is a mediator and attorney in Arizona. If you have questions about mediation, she can be reached at: 480-998-1500 or alona(a)sglawaz.com. You can also visit: Azmediator.com. This is a general interest article only and is not intended to be legal advice. See a legal professional before making legal decisions.
Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC
a Professional Limited Liability Company
8160 E. Butherus Dr., Suite #7
Scottsdale, AZ 85260