I previously provided five situations when mediation is particularly helpful. What follows is five more situations where mediation should be used (although mediation will benefits almost all people in conflict at almost any stage of the conflict).
- Trial outcome is uncertain. The outcome of trial is always uncertain. There are no guarantees. However, there are cases where a party stands a greater chance of coming out on the losing end of an argument, and there are cases where losing an issue is simply not an option. For example, there are people, who just do not want to take the chance of losing a custody issue. Mediation provides certainty. The parties make the decisions.
- The next phase of discovery will be expensive. At some point in many cases, experts have to be hired. Experts are often expensive. Prior to putting forth that expense, people are often ready to try mediation.
- The parties know they should settle, but they are too far apart. A mediator can help bridge the gap between offers, using conflict resolution skills. Mediators can help parties see their cases from different points of view, consider other options for resolution and recognizing risks of litigation and potential weaknesses in their respective cases. Mediation allows parties to change their previously held settlement positions without feeling like they have capitulates.
- The parties want a creative solution. Courts are limited in the rulings they can make. They have to follow the law. Parties can create their own solutions and arrive at creative outcomes that work better than the limited solutions the law offers.
- The parties want to preserve their relationship. Few things ruin a relationship like a lawsuit. If you want to do business with the company in the future or work together with the other parent for the benefit children, mediation works to preserve, rather than destroy, relationships.
Alona M. Gottfried is mediator and attorney in Arizona. If you have questions about mediation, she can be reached at: 480-998-1500 or email@example.com. This is a general interest article only and is not intended to be legal advice. See a legal professional before making legal decisions.
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