Tristan Loo asked:
Lawsuits and litigation have their appropriate place and function in our society, but in some instances, such as preserving on-going relationships, suing someone is like trying to remove a fly from a person’s head with a hatchet. In a conflict, each side wants to be heard and acknowledged and most of the time the only forum that they believe this will happen is the courtroom; however, this is not always true. The judge does not want to hear one side or another vent. They just want the facts of the case and to render a decision and the court system is set up as a win-lose environment which solves an issue, but does not solve the underlying conflict behind that issue. I’m often asked what are the benefits of resolving a dispute through mediation versus traditional litigation. Here is a list of benefits that mediation can provide.
It’s A Reality Check Individuals, business, and organizations often use the tactic of playing deaf when you have a complaint, hoping that you will lose interest over time and go away. Mediation is the bridge between direct negotiation and the legal system. It lets the other side know that you are serious and that you want them to come voluntarily to the negotiating table while they still have a chance. By asking them to attend mediation, you are building them a golden bridge towards agreement and all they have to do is choose to walk across.
It’s Safe The legal system awards unfair and aggressive tactics, making the playing field unequal. In mediation, you are in complete control throughout the process. The mediator will not permit any unfair tactics, so the playing filed is equalized. Mediation is voluntary, so you always reserve the right to proceed with litigation if you want.
It’s Affordable Hiring an attorney can cost thousands of dollars for even a simple case, without a firm guarantee of proper resolution. Mediation provides an affordable alternative to costly litigation.
It’s Fast Lawsuits can take years off your life in waster time, frustration, money, and emotional pain. Mediation usually takes only a fraction of the time that the legal system takes.
It’s Confidential Cases handled in court are typically open to the public, so anyone can listen in on your private life. Confidentially in a mediation is protected by law, so you can resolve your dispute with privacy and with dignity.
It’s Empowering Traditional litigation is hostile, adversarial, and aggressive. It focuses on assigning blame and punishment. Mediation doesn’t assign blame or punishmentâ€”it seeks to invent solution to a mutual problem through cooperative problem-solving.
It’s Emotionally Healthy The legal system rarely takes the psychological or emotional factors of either party into account. Litigation is cold, hard, and uncaring. Both parties are instructed not to talk to each other and neither side gets to voice their concerns. Mediation uses the psychological power of empathy to create mutual understanding between parties to address concerns, promote emotional healing, and preserve ongoing relationships.