Mediation is the least formal type of alternative dispute resolution. It is a non-binding, confidential process with the minimal level of formality. The mediator is focused on working with the parties to explore options for dispute settlement between the parties which may not have occurred to the parties prior to the mediation and can result in the resolution of the dispute without the need for more formal and costly dispute resolution procedures such as arbitration and litigation.
Mediation has gained widespread acceptance as an effective form of dispute settlement in many contexts and in increasingly being integrated into the judicial processes of many developed and developing countries. International mediation is also being adopted as a viable dispute resolution mechanism in many commercial disputes and even in the context of family law and wills and estates disputes. In many cases, the matter can be mediated and then result in the parties signing mutual releases for a settlement which means that the dispute is resolved much more quickly and cheaply than it otherwise would be if formal legal proceedings were used.
As a form of dispute resolution, mediation is sometimes criticised because of its private and confidential nature which lacks the forensic procedures in relation to evidence of a court. However, it must also be borne in mind that mediation is simply one form of dispute resolution which has a specific role in the gamete of dispute resolution mechanisms and in many cases it is entirely appropriate to use mediation which then results in a more successful outcome for all of the parties concerned than litigation. If you require mediation services or representation in a mediation, please do not hesitate to contact us.