What Does a Mediator Do?
A Mediator is a neutral to the dispute. When requested by the parties to mediate a dispute, the Mediator will set a consensus time for the parties to meet for settlement discussions. The mediator makes no decisions for the parties to the dispute. The Mediator’s role is to work hard to assist the parties in coming to a negotiated resolution of their differences.
A good Mediator helps attorneys and clients resolve disputes by exploring alternatives, decreasing barriers to settlement, and testing and evaluating possible solutions. A good Mediator helps the parties reach a resolution by facilitating communication, promoting understanding, assisting them in identifying and exploring issues, interests and possible bases for agreement, and in some matters, helping parties evaluate the likely outcome in court or arbitration if they cannot settle through mediation.
The Mediator will often act as “devil’s advocate” in these sessions to explore the parties’ expectations and possible outcomes considering the no agreement alternative. The Mediator often assists parties to prioritize interests and options for settlement and to assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of positions.
• Mediation is the modern, practical, commercial way to resolve disputes.
• Mediation costs less than going to court.
• Mediation takes less time than going to court. A mediation can usually be arranged within two to four weeks whereas court proceedings can drag on for months or years.
• Mediation is confidential. Most trials are held in public.
• Mediation is effective. Most mediations settle on the day of the mediation. Those that don’t, often settle within a couple of weeks.
• Mediation is risk free. The outcome of litigation can never be guaranteed. There is always the risk of an unsatisfactory outcome. Whereas at mediation, if a party does not like what is on offer, they need not settle. Mostly, however, the parties can find a solution to which both can agree.
• The parties remain in control of the mediation process. In court the procedure is determined by the judge and the rules of court. Mediation is more flexible, with the parties maintaining control.
• Mediation can be an opportunity to repair damaged relationships (personal or business) the court process is adversarial.
• Mediation can cause a “win/win” outcome. Court proceedings usually result in a winner and a loser – or sometimes two losers.
• Mediation can achieve better solutions. The parties can explore flexible solutions in a way that a judge cannot. A judge has to determine the facts and apply the law to the facts in a very rigid way, which may suit neither side.
Contact us to learn more about the Rhodes, Hieronymus Mediation Team and discover why clients have made our lawyers their counsel of choice in their most important matters.