POSITIVE ASPECTS OF MEDIATION
When comparing mediation to arbitration and litigation, mediation is a less expensive and shorter process. It also has significantly reduced risk as mediation attempts to resolve the situation by meeting the needs of all sides of the dispute. It is also an empowering process because control is maintained by the parties and they make the ultimate decisions. When the parties resolve their situation through mediation, rather than a judge or arbitration panel, there is significantly less animosity between the parties and therefore only a minimal chance of appeal or further conflicts. Compromise in mediation allows both parties to win; something that is impossible in litigation.
THE ROLE OF THE MEDIATOR
Initially the parties in a dispute are likely to be emotionally charged, often due to protracted negotiations or litigation. The mediator must bring the parties together by initially taking the emotion out of the situation and focusing on the real issues at hand. The mediator then helps each side to the work towards a solution that will benefit all the parties and which will help to maintain the relationships between the parties.
TIME AND COST
As the process of mediation is non-binding, the parties have much less time pressure then if they were arbitrating or litigating. Simply put, the expensive litigation process called "Discovery" (depositions, interrogatories, document requests, etc.) is not necessary. Mediation can achieve a mutually agreeable solution in a fraction of the time and costs that go along with a court battle.
As the mediation process is non-adversarial technique, complex or highly charged issues can often be resolved in a matter of days and often personal or business relationships can be preserved.
Compared to spending tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on litigation expenses necessary to pursue an arbitrated decisions or a court order, a mediated solution usually in less than one week is clearly a superior alternative.
A court control arbitration can resolve a dispute however, there is typically still a winner and loser, and the parties only recourse is to appeal the case to be heard by a judge. A skilled mediator works with the parties to solve their own conflict, the level of satisfaction in the resolution is increased. Overall, arbitration also takes a significantly longer time then mediation, the parties incur court costs, and can accrue a large legal bill for preparation.
SELECTING A MEDIATOR
Most States do not force mediators to have certifications like a doctor or lawyer. Therefore it is important to know who your mediator is and what is qualifications are. All of the mediators at Philadelphia Mediation are licensed lawyers and are members of the Pennsylvania Counsel of Mediators.
It is important that your mediator is familiar with the type of dispute you are having and the laws and regulations in that practice area. Having a skilled mediator that knows the law will assist in creating a quick and efficient solution, as the need to perform legal research is minimized. The mediators are Philadelphia Mediation are litigators that have practiced and are skilled in multiple areas of the law.
Samantha Jones, Project Manager