Unlike litigation, mediation offers participants the opportunity to chart their own course—the litigants decide whether and how they wish to resolve their dispute.
By contrast, litigation puts case resolution in the hands of strangers—the judge and jury, which can be imperfect, imprecise, slow, expensive and unpredictable. Often hotly contested litigation resulting in trial is not the end of the matter; appeals can result in more problems, taking more time and money to resolve. Mediation is self-determination, and often is better than other alternatives.
Lawyers generally don’t guarantee results. Even well seasoned trial lawyers would agree that even when all the law and all the facts are in their client’s favor, sometimes things happen and the issue presented, the motion, or the case will lose. Even a blind squirrel will sometimes find a nut. Some attorneys might have a standard set of odds for this—they might say for example that one time in ten they might lose, even if the law and facts are in their favor. Although they might have some other percentage, nearly every attorney agrees on the concept that sometimes things will go against them. They will not guarantee results. Parties who put the decision of their case in the hands of judge or jury face a downside risk that cannot be eliminated.
But mediation offers certainty.
Sometimes in litigation parties lose objectivity that might otherwise help resolve a dispute, perhaps because the parties have counsel hired to aggressively champion issues, or because the parties end up polarized as a result of past conduct. Mediation often helps clients and lawyers alike more fully appreciate case strengths and weaknesses, or perhaps alternatives that might help bring cases to an end early, so that parties can resolve disputes on agreeable terms, at minimum cost, before spending vast quantities of money for an outcome that a judge or jury will decide. Parties rarely are harmed by listening to the other side’s position. Often when the parties set aside the bluster, their positions are closer than they might at first have seemed.
I help people and entities narrow issues, and bridge gaps, collaborate on issues, and solve problems. Contact me to see whether I might be able to help.