Everyone should consider mediation. The financial benefit of mediation versus the costs of litigation as well as the ability to maintain relationships is important for all civil/commercial entities. In addition, the parties control the amount of information that becomes a part of public record, unlike litigation where the parties have no control over what becomes public knowledge.
Yes, mediation is legally binding. Once the mediation agreement is signed by all parties, it acts as any other contract and if any terms are breached, the parties can be taken to court to have the issue resolved.
If the parties can come to a mutually agreed settlement, then normally you would not have to go to court. However, it is possible that mediation can help the parties achieve an agreement that only partially resolves a conflict and the parties may choose to resolve any outstanding matters in court.
Either party can request mediation. Mediation is available to anyone with a disagreement.
The length of time it takes to mediate a dispute can vary depending on the complexity of the dispute. That being said, most disputes can be resolved in a half-day mediation session.
1) Confidentiality – mediation ensures that everything that occurs and is said during mediation remains between the parties and the mediator only.
2) Control – the parties themselves are the architects of their own resolution, not a judge, not an arbitrator and not the mediator.
3) Maintaining of relationships – mediation allows business/commercial relationships to continue so the parties may interact with each other in the future in a pleasant and professional manner.
4) Speed – the process of mediation is much faster than litigation.
5) Cost – mediation is much more cost effective than litigation
There is no obligation to reach an agreement during mediation. All parties must be satisfied with the agreement in order to agree to it. However, there may be a partial agreement in which some issues are resolved, while others are resolved through litigation. Mediation attempts to help parties reach an agreement that is beneficial to everyone, even if that means no agreement is reached.
No. A mediator cannot be called as witness to the proceedings or discuss any part of the mediation agreement with the judge, or anyone not a party to the dispute.