There is always more than one way to accomplish a goal, and the same is true when thinking of legal matters. Some cases are resolved by settlement, some go to trial before the Judge or a jury, and some cases are referred to mediation for resolution. Mediation is a helpful tool, and can yield satisfactory results while saving time and expense. The advantages to mediation are many, and the decision to agree to send your case to mediation is one that should be made after careful consideration of all your options. However, mediation is not required, and should only be entered into willingly and after being fully informed of the advantages and disadvantages of the process.
The American Bar Association has this to say about the benefits of participating in mediation:
- The cost of mediation is generally less than the court costs associated with a full-fledged trial or court case.
- Litigants report a higher level of satisfaction with the results of mediation than they do with trial of their case.
- Mediation moves at a faster pace than most court dockets, thus the parties reach results quicker.
- The setting for mediation is less formal than going to court, and this puts the parties at ease.
The mediation process includes use of a neutral third party, referred to as the mediator. This person will hear both parties’ version of the events and then negotiate back and forth in an effort to come up with a solution both sides can accept. While the mediator plays a key role in the process, the ultimate decision to settle the case remains with the litigants. Having an attorney present throughout the procedure is best, because a knowledgeable attorney will present your case clearly and provide guidance as to any offer made. If you do finalize your matter at mediation, notice is provided to the court that the case has been resolved and the matter is at its end. If, however, you are unable to reach an agreement, you are permitted to resume your matter before the court for final adjudication.
If you have been in an accident and have questions about mediation, call our office to learn what to do next. Let an experienced attorney help you figure what is best for you. Call a Bloomington, Minnesota personal injury attorney today.