Mediation Compared to Litigation

November 30th, 2011 Posted in Mediation

Article by Braxton Douglas

Through countless movies and television dramas most people are familiar with the glamorized process of litigation. We have all seen the hopeless case that the plucky young attorney takes against all odds and through a combination of skill, luck, moral superiority and unrelenting determination prevails against the forces of corruption. What is really miraculous is that the case resolves itself in 30 minutes, 1 hour or 2 hours 30 minutes depending on the length of the drama. If only real life worked this way.In real life litigation is a grueling process that subjects the litigant to enormous financial and emotional pressure. Cases can grind on for years. In point of fact, unless the amount in controversy is approaching one-half million dollars, it is very difficult to justify the expense of litigating that particular problem.A form of alternative dispute resolution that has become increasingly popular since the 1970s is mediation. Mediation is the process where a third-party non-decision-making neutral assists parties who are already involved in a dispute by facilitating their communication with the goal of having the parties reach a voluntary amicable resolution of their conflict. The aim of mediation is to assist parties in reaching an agreement that satisfies all participants. A mediator has no authority to make decisions with regards to the future of the parties. A mediator is there to help the parties more effectively communicate with one another. A key role for mediators is to explore and encourage creative options for resolutions from the parties. Mediation is a broad concept that encompasses a variety of topics. Mediation is not just found in the legal realm, it is a process that is also used in the workplace, in schools, and churches. Mediators

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