Mediation Awareness Week
What is Mediation?
Mediation is an effective way of resolving disputes without the need to go to court, and is one of several tools used by good and experienced litigation solicitors. An independent third party-mediator helps in facilitating a resolution to the dispute.
What does a Mediator do?
The mediator does not act as a judge or express a legal opinion on the dispute. His or her role is to help the parties to reach a resolution and avoid what can be a lengthy and time-consuming trial and the risks that entails. In some cases, a trial is necessary and mediation is not appropriate. A good litigator will be able to recognize those cases.
What is the process?
Mediation is a voluntary process and will only take place if both parties agree. It is also a confidential process where the terms of discussion are not disclosed to any party outside the mediation hearing, and this can often be very attractive particularly where an adverse result at trial could have significant consequences in, for example, setting a precedent for the future.
If parties are unable to reach agreement, they can still go to court. Details about what went on at the mediation will not be disclosed or used at any court hearing.
Both parties share the cost of mediation unless some other agreement is reached. It is a cheaper option to a full-blown trial but the parties have the option of trial in the event resolution cannot be achieved.