Litigation Vs Mediation
7 PROBLEMS WITH SUING TO RESOLVE A DISPUTE
Problem 1. It costs too much. Litigation is the most costly way to resolve a dispute. There are attorneys fees, filing fees, transcript fees. The number 1 question people ask an attorney is “How much is it going to cost”. The cost involved in litigating a case has to be weighted against the amount of the potential recovery. Many people never get to court, because they can’t afford it or because the cost involved outweighs the risk involved.
Problem 2. It takes too long. The litigation process starts with the filing of the Complaint. After the Complaint is filed with the court and presented to the other side, there are additional pleadings, discovery requests, motions, depositions, settlement conferences, etc. Most people believe that litigation takes so long because lawyers get paid by the hour. Whatever the reason, you must be prepared for the long haul.
Problem 3. It is inconvenient. It is inconvenient. Your case is tried at the courthouse, regardless of where you live or work. Depositions are given in lawyer’s offices, on their time. Your case is scheduled by the court, according to the court’s schedule. You lose time from work, or have to re-arrange your schedule. Multiple cases are scheduled for the same time, so the wait can be lengthy.
Problem 4. Rules of Evidence & Procedure apply. You can’t say certain things in court and you can’t introduce certain documents. You need to subpoena witnesses. A judge may rule against you and dismiss your case even before it gets to court.
Problem 5. It’s public. Your dispute is a matter of public record. The court file is available to the media and the public at large. Anybody and everybody can find out the details of your dispute.
Problem 6. Remedies are limited. You may only be entitled to money damages. You don’t get an apology. You get a general release (if you’re lucky enough to settle your case) that says “this payment does not constitute an admission on our part that we did anything wrong…”
Problem 7. Someone is going to lose. There will be a finding for and against a party. After investing so much of your time, energy and money to fight for or defend yourself, you have no control over the outcome. Your fate is in someone else’s hands. You could be right, and you could still lose. You tell the truth and someone doesn’t believe you.
You can avoid all of these problems if you consider Mediation as an alternative.
7 REASONS WHY MEDIATION IS BETTER THAN LITIGATION
Solution 1. Cost. Mediation is a cost leader in the field of dispute resolution. The mediator’s fees are much less than the lawyer’s fees. Often, the mediator’s fees are split between the parties. With litigation, each side pays their own attorney’s fees. With mediation, there are no costly filing fees, transcript fees, subpoena fees, expert fees, etc.
Solution 2. Length of time for dispute resolution. Mediation can resolve disputes in far less time than it takes to litigate. Mediation can occur at any time during the dispute process. Mediation can result in an agreement after only one session. Mediation can diffuse a volatile situation.
Solution 3. Mediation is convenient. Mediation takes place at a neutral, convenient location, at a mutually agreed upon time. Mediation can occur at any time, including evenings and weekends. Mediation is user friendly!
Solution 4. No rules of evidence or procedure apply. Mediation has no rules of evidence or procedure. With mediation, the parties can present any information they feel is important. The parties can say what other people said, and can show whatever they want to show. The mediator does not decide what is or is not “admissible”.
Solution 5. Confidentiality. Mediation is strictly confidential. At the end of mediation, all notes are destroyed. The mediator can not be compelled to testify or otherwise disclose a communication by one party to the other. What is said during mediation can not be repeated on the 6:00 p.m. News!
Solution 6. Remedies are unlimited. With mediation, the parties make their own agreement, which may include an apology. With mediation, underlying issues can be resolved and “real” closure can occur. The parties are not limited to a monetary recovery.
Solution 7. There are no losers. Mediation is a win/win solution. Since the parties can discuss all the issues and make their own agreement, both parties are winners. Mediation is less about right and wrong and more about conflict resolution. Mediation is a more civilized way to resolve conflicts.
If you have any questions regarding mediation or have any conflicts you would like to resolve by mediation, please contact us. I’ll be glad to answer your questions and/or put you on the road to mediation.