Why Use Mediation

Meditation provides an alternative to an adversarial courtroom setting. This alternative method seeks to re-establish communication among neighbors and community members so they can try to resolve their differences in a lawyer-free environment.

The Difference between Mediation & Litigation

MEDIATION is designed to be collaborative. In mediation, participants are able (and encouraged) to state their side and what outcome they are seeking. Having open communication frees participants to work together to create their own solutions and reach a consensus quickly and economically.

Conversely, LITIGATION is expensive, time consuming, and dominated by a rigid process and procedures. It involves an adversarial system designed to produce a win/lose scenario. While each party has the opportunity to present their side (usually with an attorney), their presentations are restricted by rules of evidence and procedure. Judges are limited in the type of discretion they are able to use in the courtroom. Their purpose is to adjudicate, not mediate. The outcome is often unsatisfactory to all parties.

Other Advantages of Mediation

  • Control over the outcome of the situation: each party is empowered to make their own agreements
  • A quick turnaround from request for services to final agreement by both parties
  • Does not exclude other options that exist (If mediation is unsuccessful, parties have preserved their right to litigate.)
  • Helps avoid legal fees, court expenses, and a public record of litigation
  • Expedited outcome; unlike court which can take weeks or months to conclude
  • The process is efficient: no lawyers or legal proceedings. Just streamlined communication (nb: some situations may require parties to talk to an attorney for legal consultation. During mediation, any party is free to pursue legal counsel where appropriate.)
  • The process is confidential (excepting disclosures of physical or sexual abuse)
  • Flexibility in scheduling mediation sessions
  • Sessions are conducted in a more personal and less adversarial setting

Some Disadvantages

  • Mediation is entirely voluntary; each party must voluntarily participate and commit to act in good faith discussions
  • A successful mediation requires the parties to be duty bound by their word as reflected in their signed agreement
  • When agreements are dishonored, the mediator has no legal authority to enforce the agreement
  • Some complex disputes or disagreements are beyond the scope of mediation
Short bridge in Scotland

For more information about the process of mediation,