By Dov Silberman
The advantages of mediation are also well known and documented:
- Prior negotiations have failed. Negotiations will already have been attempted by the parties or their lawyers, including maybe round table conferences. For various reasons, they were unsuccessful. An independent mediator, a different process of discussion and private sessions during the mediation, can overcome the inherent problems of normal negotiations such as trust, secrecy, giving away your case etc.
- You control the flow of information. You can say things to the mediator which the other party will not hear. You control what is said and revealed to the other side. Whatever is said or revealed cannot be used in court.
- You get a chance to say what you feel. You can say what you feel in a safe and non-threatening environment. A skilled mediator will allow you, and the other side, to release personal feelings in a way that leads to resolution, rather than escalation, of the conflict. The other side will, often for the first time, really internalise where you are coming from.
- The real issues will emerge. A skilled mediator will uncover the real issues of the dispute, which are often non- legal and non-monetary.
- Mediation is innovative. It focuses your attention and energy on coming to grips with the real problems of the dispute. The more information, not necessarily legal, on the table, the better the settlement prospects. It encourages you to negotiate creative and acceptable solutions and agreements not normally found within the litigation process.
- You are in control of the process and outcome. You go through the mediation at your own pace. You and the other side are always on the same page. Both of you ultimately are in control, not only of the outcome, but also the process, so you have to be emotionally comfortable with how it advances. That is why prior arrangements are made so each party is comfortable with the setting, time etc. The mediator does not impose, or even suggest, settlement terms.
- Cheapness and cost effectiveness:-
- Mediation is designed to be short (half to a day)
- Mediation promotes an early resolution
- Your litigation expenses, business disruption and emotional traumas are dramatically reduced.
- Additional benefits. If appropriate, your valuable business and personal relationships can be preserved or enhanced by skilful mediators.
- Mediation is low risk. You can voluntarily accept or reject any settlement. The mediator does not impose, or even suggest, settlement terms.
- Preparation for the future. If all else fails, you can still go to court. If the case does not settle now, then you should know why it hasn’t settled, what the likely future costs will be, and can plan for court and outcomes accordingly