According to The American Bar Association… link
Mediation gives people a quick, inexpensive way to work out their differences while addressing everyone’s needs and interests. Decisions reached in mediation are created by the people who are in conflict, not imposed on them by a judge. Mediation:
- encourages direct communication between the parties
- helps people decide for themselves
- allows for the expression of emotions
- defuses anger
- explores creative means of solving problems
- promotes cooperation
- preserves the strengths of an ongoing relationship
- helps people accept the consequences of their own decisions
- develops a model for resolution of future conflicts
Mediation is a dynamic, structured, interactive process where a neutral third party assists disputing parties in resolving conflict through the use of specialized communication and negotiation techniques. All participants in mediation are encouraged to actively participate in the process.
Mediation is a “party-centered” process in that it is focused primarily upon the needs, rights, and interests of the parties. The mediator uses a wide variety of techniques to guide the process in a constructive direction and to help the parties find their optimal solution.
A mediator is facilitative in that she/he manages the interaction between parties and facilitates open communication. Mediation is also evaluative in that the mediator analyzes issues and relevant norms (“reality-testing”), while refraining from providing prescriptive advice to the parties (e.g., “You should do… .”).
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The Advantages of Mediation
Mediation is much less costly than civil litigation for many reasons:
- Most mediators who specialize in construction charge by the hour and the mediation usually is completed in one or two days.
- As most construction mediations are conducted in one or two days and most certainly less days than civil litigation, the cost of your time away from business will be minimal.
- Preparation for mediation is far easier and simpler than is required to prepare for arbitration or litigation.
- Attorneys are not necessary but may participate at the request of a party.
- If you choose binding mediation, you will have a similar finality as binding arbitration offers without the formalities and costs associated with binding arbitration.
- In many cases, the mediation can be held at the residence involved rather than needing to schedule a jobsite visit and a separate arbitration hearing at a neutral location or litigation that must be held at a court of jurisdiction.
- In most cases, the mediator is well-versed in the issues that are in dispute and can assist the parties in the reality of their opinions and positions.
- There should be no court filing fees and related expenses.
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