Mediation is now a very important stage in the litigation process, and is a conflict resolution process that usually results in a prompt settlement to even the most complex and highly charged disputes. Chris has mediated and provided dispute resolution services in some very challenging cases, where the parties even refused to sit in the same room at the start, yet his personal settlement rate is running at about 80%.
For more information on mediation, here are the slides which Chris presented recently to International Mediation Awareness Week
If you are looking for a specialist mediator who has dealt with many disputes, including:
…Chris can help you!
Mediation is the most popular form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”). It can take place only if all parties to the dispute agree. A specially trained professional, a mediator, guides the parties through the process with the aim of reaching a solution, which the parties find acceptable.
On the pages below, Chris describes how a mediation is arranged, what happens on the day, how much it costs, and what else you need to know to achieve a solution to your or your client’s problems.
The mediator does not impose any settlement; the parties decide when an agreement can be reached, and decide the nature of that agreement.
Nothing said at a mediation can be quoted later, not even in court should the mediation fail. Thus the parties are encouraged to state their true needs in private discussion with the mediator, who can subtly use that knowledge to seek common ground with the other party.
Mediation focuses not on rights and liabilities, on who is right and who is wrong, but on needs and interests. Awareness of rights leads to entrenched positions, which can be resolved only by the unsatisfactory process of a full trial at court. Whereas looking at the needs and interests means getting away from past difficulties and concentrating on what the parties really need for the future.
Mediation can be held at any time acceptable to the parties, and is not dependent on court listings.
It can be held anywhere acceptable to the parties, so long as two or three rooms are available for confidential discussions.
A mediation may be arranged within a couple of weeks, or even a couple of hours if necessary; and it can usually take place before the parties spend months in preparing their case for trial or waiting for a court date.
All discussions are confidential and without prejudice.
It’s your dispute, and you are in charge of it; at any time you may abort the process and go to court.
After a court case, the parties may never speak again, and never do business together. With mediation, doing business together may even be part of the solution the parties reach, and mediation often rebuilds relationships, whereas litigation destroys them.
Mediation is usually far cheaper than a trial.
Though often invaluable, lawyers are not required for mediation; but a party can represent himself, with or without a friend or colleague.
There is usually just one representative on each side in mediation, plus their advisers; but since heavy costs are not incurred, Goliath (the large commercial enterprise or public authority) cannot use his financial muscle to bully David (little Joe Public). Both parties must work equally to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
A professional mediator does not make any judgments, does not give any advice, and never takes sides. He will never express his views on whether the solution achieved is the right one, because if it’s acceptable to the parties, it is the right one.
The skilled mediator gently helps the parties move towards dispute resolution away from concentrating on their rights and liabilities, and towards considering their true needs and interests.