Barrand Co Solicitors | Specialists in Rugby Sports Injuries
Practical and affordable alternative dispute solutions for parties wishing to resolve a civil dispute without hiring attorneys or going to court. A mediator acts as a middleman and will listen to both sides of an argument and discuss the issues with each group privately as well as together in order to figure out what the true disagreement is and help the parties come up with an agreement on their own.
The Right Choice
There are many different types of civil disputes where both parties simply cannot listen to each other or agree on a resolution. In cases such as these, a mediator can help the two come to an agreed solution. Situations that civil mediation would be right for include landlord and tenant disputes, child custody disagreements such as visitation hours, certain business disagreements, and most importantly when the parties are concerned about maintaining a relationship after coming to a resolution. Mediation is not right for groups whose dispute regards having to pay damages, if either party does not have a full understanding of the law, or if one of the parties refuses to negotiate and make an effort to resolve the problem.
There are several benefits to choosing civil mediation over going to court. The most significant benefit is that mediation is significantly cheaper than going to court. While a mediator may cost as much as an attorney per session, court cases often drag on for several days and require several meetings with an attorney and a significant amount of paperwork. With mediation, the parties only pay their fee and the issue can usually be resolved in only a few hours without any paperwork or deadlines.
An important benefit to this route over going to court is that the parties have control over the outcome because it is not at the hands of a judge or jury. Also, a mediator is a neutral person and has experiencing working with people that want to resolve an issue but are too emotionally or financially invested in the situation to come to a fair agreement on their own. Another benefit to choosing mediation is that it offers privacy for sensitive matters. Court cases are always available to the public and can thus have negative impacts on the parties involved.
Often in personal injury cases, there is a lot of anger toward the person being sued, so sometimes choosing mediation prior to going to court can help both parties put the issue into perspective. If the injured party is simply looking for an apology or repayment of costs, a mediator can help them realize this and both parties can leave the meeting feeling satisfied with the resolution. Even if it does not go well, mediation can still help both groups in a personal injury suit better understand the issue and what the other party expects, so it may be a good first step in some situations.
How to Select
The most important factor in choosing a good mediator is not necessarily someone that has a significant amount of knowledge in the issue, but rather someone who has experience with conflict resolution and even a solid understanding of the emotional aspect of disagreements. Some other considerations are the quality of training they have received, as requirements are fairly low under the law, and how successful they have been in previous cases.
While civil mediation may not be the right option in all cases, it can work when the people involved are willing to cooperate and come to a mutual understanding. This alternative is much more cost effective, faster, and more private than going to court, and if the right person is hired for the job it can be extremely successful and leave both groups feeling like they made the fair decision.