Even though mediation has been available for some time as a remedy to legal disputes, it doesn't get used as often as it should. In the right circumstances, mediation has been effective in addressing a wide range of civil conflicts.
Especially where there are issues of fact, more judges are referring cases out to mediation. In some locations, nearly all cases are referred to mediation first. In other places, disputes that seem to be going nowhere in court are sent out for mediation to see if an agreement can be reached in a different forum. When that happens, all parties tend to be happier with the resolution and are able to go on with their lives successfully.
There are a few scenarios where judges do not make referrals to mediation: in bankruptcy appeals, prisoner civil rights issues, rulings of administrative agencies that have gone to appeal, cases involving only questions of strict law, and Social Security cases.
There are certain types of disputes that tend to be especially successful in mediation: situations where a party needs to express major emotions, when two disputing parties have opposed perceptions of the law or facts, when a party wants the opportunity to be heard in the presence of the other involved party, when the parties are no longer able to communicate with one another effectively but may be able to do so with the guidance of a mediator, and when a conflict has arisen between an attorney and his or her client.
Many disputing parties may have some conditions in their case that make them consider mediation, especially when disagreement is currently stalling any progress on the case. When parties attempt to negotiate on their own, they may be unsuccessful, leading to roadblocks in the case. If the communication between two parties is not strong and is only leading to more conflict, this is not productive.
In these cases, a trained mediator can do a lot of good. In fact, he or she can help to break through the conflict and identify areas where both parties do agree. This can serve as a great foundation in getting two parties to stay on the same page to discuss crucial facts in the case. It can also be an eye-opener for parties who are staunchly "stuck" in their perception of the only possible resolution. A mediator can be an excellent tool for ending these types of conflict quickly.
(This blog article is based on the article entitled "The "What" of Mediation: When Is Mediation the Right Process Choice?" written by Paula Young published on http://www.mediate.com/articles/young18.cfm)
James F. Page is a certified electronic discovery specialist. He is also approved as a certified mediator and has been helping individuals throughout Florida settle their disputes using mediation. Call 407-341-0069 to learn how mediation can help you or visit http://www.pagemediation.com for more information.