Mediation is an alternative to litigating a dispute, and it has benefits that are lost when a dispute enters the legal system.



Mediations reduce: time, cost, emotional disruption, relationship damage, limit public knowledge of personal issues, and preserve confidentiality, and a degree of control for both parties.


Time:  Attorneys are aware that nearly all court cases eventually settle before Judges impose a decision, but the legal process drags on without satisfaction to either party. Mediations rarely last more than a day.



Cost: I have been told that many attorneys who profit from protracted litigation are uncomfortable billing their clients the substantial amounts involved (their fees, expert fees, record photocopying, dispositions, interviews, and hearings). Mediation is inexpensive.



Disruption: The parties involved in litigation must take time off from work or personal activities to participate in unending meetings and proceedings. Gatherings of family, friends, and co-workers are unsettling and disruptive while disputes remain unresolved. Mediation is quick.



Confidentiality:  Disputes litigated in court are open to the public, often find a second venue - the discussions of friends, adversaries and sometimes in the press. The internet expands the number of people privy to past legal system disputes. Mediation is private.



Relationship Loss:  No one likes people that sue and once litigation starts attorneys strive to gather information that reflects poorly on the other side. Mediation focuses on issues not reputations and the collaborative nature of the mediation process improves communication.



Lack of Control: Judges applying set rules, and juries applying their own perspectives to those facts permitted into evidence, and determine the outcome of cases. Sometimes factors the parties involved value most are not considered and conversely a dispute might be decided on factors of no importance to either side. Mediators do not decide the outcome, participants agree on outcome.



Resolution: Sometimes the resolution sought; an apology, a letter of reference, a job, etc., might not be available in court. Participants not mediators agree on the resolution.


For more information click on the following:

Mediator’s Role

Mediator’s Qualifications

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PAUL F. NOLAN, CPA, 14931 Laguna Drive, Fort Myers, Florida 33908, 239-454-2820