Mediation is one of the most popular forms of dispute resolution and has been on an upward trend for decades, and although you may be interested in heading there–you may have no idea when it would be best to leave mediation. Unless you have been in a legal dispute previously, you may not even have been aware that it was an option over litigation. Sometimes mediation is not optional either but may be required by the judge as one part of an exercise during a trial. And while parties may balk at ADR at first, mediation especially is usually successful.
The mediator plays an interesting role in the process, as they are not there to decide the case for the involved parties. Their role is to facilitate resolution of the case through helping the disputing parties, but not too much! The mediator must remain neutral and is expected to bring forth their expertise when the parties involved have reached an impasse. This is normally where a mediator will shine. In most cases they will have interviewed both sides to gain and understanding of what is going on. This means that they have an easier time encouraging everyone to think outside the box when they seem to have hit a stumbling block or unfortunately, when tempers may be flaring.
Is it possible to leave mediation and go straight to litigation? The answer could go either way, depending on whether your mediation is court-ordered. If the judge sends you to mediation, they expect a resolution to be reached there, and if the news given to them is that you just could not reach a decision, they may send you right back; however, in an optional mediation, of course you have the choice to tell your attorneys that you wish to seek litigation instead.
Usually, mediation is a much better route for everyone involved as it is a relaxed and casual atmosphere much more conducive to reaching a settlement. Even though there may still be some lawyer’s fees, mediation is usually exponentially more affordable, and fast—not only in reaching a decision, but scheduling is much easier and more flexible as it only revolves around the mediator and the disputing parties, rather than the entire court docket.
The Bolender Law Firm will advocate on behalf of clients through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!