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Civil Litigation Newsletter

Mediation vs. Litigation

When does mediation make sense instead of litigation? Answer – almost always!

Mediation is a non-binding method for the parties to voluntarily come together to discuss their issues in dispute in a controlled fashion without the pressure of a judge or jury pressing for a result. Ideally, the mediation takes place at a professional mediator’s office or at the location of one of the major alternative dispute resolution centers. The parties can appear with or without counsel, although in most situations legal counsel is always present.

The purpose of a mediation is to give the parties a chance to have their dispute mediated by someone – the mediator – who is independent with no interest in the outcome. Many times the mediator is a retired judge with experience in the area of dispute.  The idea is that an independent person has a better chance to work on the parties and to persuade them to settle.

Oftentimes a mediation gives the parties a chance to tell their “story” to an impartial listener who is present for the purpose of solving the dispute. It also allows the parties to air their problems in a confidential setting knowing that anything said in the mediation is confidential and may not be used in any later litigation setting.

In conclusion, before or even after litigation occurs it makes good sense to participate in a mediation as this process may well result in a settlement of the dispute saving all concerned money on civil litigation lawyer California, costs of the litigation and may serve to avoid the pressures of a protracted lawsuit