The strength of mediation is that it permits the parties to achieve their own dynamic resolution rather than being bound by a superimposed, inflexible legal solution. Some of the key benefits are that it:
PRODUCES GREATER SATISFACTION WITH RESULTS
After a lawsuit goes all the way through trial, even the winners may feel they have lost. The costs and time commitment on both sides may be enormous. Sometimes neither side is satisfied with the result. Relationships that may have existed between the parties are likely to have been severely strained. On the other hand, ADR may help:
CREATES MORE FLEXIBILITY, CONTROL, AND PARTICIPATION
In formal litigation, the court is limited in the procedures it must follow and the solutions it might reach, and there are risks to submitting a case to a judge or jury. ADR processes are more flexible and permit parties to participate more fully and in a wider range of ways. They give parties more control by providing opportunities to:
LEADS TO A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE CASE
In traditional litigation, the parties may stop communicating directly. Often it is only after a significant amount of time and expense that the parties come to understand how their dispute can be presented in the legal system.
ADR can speed up the parties’ access to information and help them obtain an earlier and better understanding of the legal aspects of their case. It may:
IMPROVES CASE MANAGEMENT
Early in a lawsuit, attorneys sometimes find it difficult to devise a cost-effective case management plan and/or ways to limit the dispute. An ADR neutral (an impartial person) may help:
REDUCES COMMUNICATION BARRIERS
Due to its adversarial nature, litigation can increase the level of tension, and often hostility, between parties. These escalated barriers to communication hamper chances for settlement. In contrast, an ADR neutral may:
Generally speaking, mediation offers parties more settlement options and enables them to develop more creative outcomes. Mediation can also set the stage for future communication and cooperation between the parties, which is especially important when relationships and children are involved.
Mediation often lowers the intensity level of the conflict, enabling the parties to vent in a safe environment. It gives parties the power to reach their own decisions versus having outcomes determined by others, such as a judge.
Mediation recognizes that both parties' needs are important, and mediation offers privacy.