If litigation is legal warfare, mediation is the diplomacy that tries to avoid it.
Before disputes escalate to the contentious battle of courtroom litigation, parties are encouraged to try to settle disputes through mediation. Mediation is a careful negotiation between disputing parties with a neutral 3rd party mediator who acts as a referee to bring them together in a fair and impartial way.
Ultimately, mediation is an attempt to settle the dispute with a mutually acceptable resolution as opposed to litigation that can result in an all-or-nothing outcome for only one side.
In fact, all civil cases filed in Superior Court in North Carolina are required to go through a mediated settlement conference with a certified mediator.
Mediation requires its own high-performance skillset in which we are well versed and experienced as led by practice head Bill Senter who has over 35 years of experience. It demands creative thinking to build bridges between parties and negotiate deals, diplomatic skills to open up and facilitate dialogue, and legal expertise to base your bargaining position on a solid foundation.
THE PRIMARY BENEFITS OF MEDIATION
- Control: As a structured process that facilitates direct negotiation between parties, it increases the control they have over the ultimate resolution of disputed issues. Because a judge or jury is not making the decision, mediation is more likely to result in a solution that is mutually acceptable to the parties involved as opposed to an enforced judgment.
- Confidentiality: As a private and confidential process, mediation occurs "off the record" and if mediation does not resolve the problem and the parties go to trial, nothing said during the mediation process can be used at trial. This way, both parties can negotiate freely and openly.
- Cost: It's often more affordable than the litigation process. This is because as a direct negotiation, mediation can achieve resolution in a shorter amount of time, without the time and effort the complex litigation process requires.