Mediation is an interactive process to resolve disputes between people. An independent mediator guides the parties to resolve their conflict through proven techniques that are based on respectful communication and creative exploration of solutions.
There are several significant benefits of mediation over litigation:
- Confidentiality. Unlike normal court processes, the discussion during mediation are confidential. This allows the parties to keep the issues private. Further, mediation is normally “without prejudice”. This means that anything that is discussed, or any offer for resolution made, cannot be used at any time in court proceedings. This gives the parties the freedom to explore resolutions without fear that thoughts expressed will be used against them in the future.
- Voluntary. Both parties must be willing to actively engage in mediation. Consequently, mediation places most of the control into the hands of the parties. This means that it is much more likely that a resolution is found than through court processes.
- Cost. Mediators charge similar fees to lawyers, but the mediation process usually takes a fraction of the time compared to litigation. Mediation is usually conducted over a matter of hours, although extreme cases can go up to two days. Consequently, the overall cost of mediation is significantly less than litigation.
- Time. Litigation usually takes many months and sometimes years to conclude. Mediation, however, usually reaches a final settlement on the day of the mediation. This allows both parties focus on the things they want to be doing, rather than putting endless resources into litigation.
- Mutuality. The fact that the parties are willing to mediate means that they are willing to explore a solution to the dispute. This means that there is a much greater likelihood of parties reaching a resolution and preserving the relationship.
- Compliance. Upon reaching an agreement, both parties are more likely to comply with the agreement due to their active participation in the creation of the resolution.
- Support. Mediators are experienced at dealing with difficult situation. They ensure that both parties engage respectfully and that all discussions remain civil.
The process that aktivResolve usually follows for mediation is as follows:
- Both parties agree to pursue mediation as a means of resolving the dispute.
- The parties agree on a mediator.
- Depending on the complexity of the dispute, there may be a preliminary meeting of up to 1.5 hours to discuss the process and set expectations regarding the Dispute Submission.
- Both parties submit a Dispute Submission (generally up to 5 pages) outlining their understanding of the dispute.
- Formal mediation, which is usually a meeting lasting between one hour and six hours, during which there will be several joint and separate meetings.
- Draft and sign Settlement Agreement (this is done on the day of the mediation).
The role of the mediator is to facilitate the process of reaching a settlement. It is therefore important to note that the mediator does not provide legal or other advice relating to the dispute.
If you would like to have an obligation free discussion regarding mediation, please email info@aktivResolve.com.au.