Last month I spoke of certainty.  With mediation, the matter is never out of your control, it is not resolved unless you agree, and there is no dependency on a third party to decide the matter for you.  If mediation works, and most do, there is no appeal because everyone has agreed to the outcome and the matter is closed.  Parties walk away with a result they found reasonable and agreed to. Indeed, not only do participants believe in the final result, but it is easy to recognize that the process saved them time and money.

Mediation is cost-effective.

I know that the cost of mediation may seem intimidating.  Good mediators are often expensive.  They come with extensive experience, either from the bench, from practice, or both.  However, the cost of the mediation is shared. This means that each participant shares the same burden and is equally invested in settling the matter.

Mediations usually have each party splitting the cost down the middle, but there is also the option for parties to pick a reasonable percentage that each agrees for the other to pay. This can be extremely important in family matters where one party has significantly more available income than the other.

Moreover, there is no expense for the calling of experts or the inconvenience of trying to track down witnesses.  In fact, many matters can be resolved early in the process.

Mediation eliminates a lot of wasted time.

Mediations are usually completed in a day.  More complex mediations can be settled in consecutive days. This ensures the matter proceeds efficiently until it is completed.

In the court system, a trial rarely begins on the first calendar call (when the judge or a court officer calls out the names of the cases on the calendar and sets a date for trial).  Even when a judge is available, how often do you get the opportunity to spend an entire day with them to resolve your matter?  How often is the court focused on YOU, and dedicates an entire day or more to help resolve your case?

What inevitably happens is that you share the day with what has often been called a “cattle call”.  You sit in a packed courtroom, or in the hallway waiting to be called, only to be told that there is no judge available.  These days are simply unproductive.  Moreover, when you are called for a second, or third, or fourth trial call and still have been unable to pick a jury or resolve the matter, that time is wasted.

With mediation, you pick the dates and you have all day to work on a fair and reasonable resolution. There is no waiting in the hall or courtroom, and you don’t share the day with a “cattle call” of other matters.  You are guaranteed the full attention of your adversary and of the third-party mediator who is there for the sole purpose of helping you reach a resolution.  You cannot exercise this kind of control in settling a matter anywhere else.

In short, the shared expense of a competent third-party to help you resolve your litigation saves significant time and money, and as previously noted, provides an absolute certain result.

But wait, there is more!  Unless it’s your proverbial slam-dunk (and how often does that happen?) you will also feel much more connected and satisfied with the result.  I’ll tell you about that next month …..