Mediation is a method of resolving disputes; it is an alternative to litigation. Parties work with a mediator (a neutral professional trained in conflict resolution) to resolve all outstanding issues. If you choose mediation in Arizona, you can still go to Court if you do not settle the matter. Or, you can go to Court if you settle the matter, but the other party does not comply with the terms of the mediated agreement. You do not give up your rights when you mediate in Arizona.
It makes good sense to try mediation before litigation because most mediations are successful, ending the need for litigation. If you eradicate the need to litigate, you also eradicate the cost, risk, time and stress related to litigation. Further, mediation offers more options to resolution as the parties are not limited to the constraints of the law in formatting an agreement.
You do not need to go to Court even if you cannot settle all issues. Parties to a mediation can choose to have the mediator decide the contested issue in a process called Mediation-Arbitration, or Med-Arb. Parties can agree to make the decision of the arbitrator binding, meaning it cannot be challenged in court.
Mediation does not halt a statute of limitations (the deadline by which an action has to be filed) or deadlines to file with administrative agencies, so potential litigants should be familiar with those deadlines.
Alona M. Gottfried is a mediator, arbitrator and attorney in Arizona. If you have questions about mediation, she can be reached at: 480-998-1500 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
8160 E. Butherus Dr., Suite #7
Scottsdale, AZ 85260