Civil And Commercial Mediation
Mediation and arbitration are in place to induce parties to settle their disputes prior to or instead of initiating any legal action as litigation is lengthy and costly and only adds to the swelling court docket. Both arbitration and mediation involve a neutral third party to help the disputing parties resolve their issues. In contrast to arbitration, mediation is less formal and the parties focus on negotiation rather on seeking the ruling of the neutral third-party. While the main goal of the ADR is to eliminate the need for litigation, ADR can also be used as a process of resolving a pending litigation, when courts require parties to submit to ADR prior to proceeding to trial.
Mediation is used to resolve both civil and commercial disputes. Mediation is not just limited to solving legal disputes. The process is also increasingly used in resolving administrative and community issues. Mediation law is a growing area of the law as studies show that parties who underwent mediation are more likely to be successful in resolving their disputes compared to parties who immediately went to litigation. Recognizing the usefulness of mediation in both court and non-court settings, the Uniform Mediation Act was enacted to be adopted by all American states to promote uniformity in the use of mediation law.
Not all states, however, adopted the UMA, so the procedures governing mediations still vary from state to state. This means that, despite the aim of mediation to eliminate litigation, there will be legal disputes arising from the process that will need the expertise of mediation law attorneys. For one, if there are no uniform rules on the language of settlement resulting from mediation, one party may choose to go to another state to have a court there interpret such settlement.
A mediator, who is a neutral third-party trained in negotiations, presides over mediations and assists the parties to come up with a settlement that is tailored to each of the parties' needs. Mediation is voluntary so that the parties are in control and in cooperation with each other. There instances though when a court will direct mediation. Civil and commercial mediation still require attorneys as not all mediators are familiar with the law. If the dispute is legal, the parties, including the mediator, may not be able to reach a settlement that will resolve the dispute without the help of expert mediation law attorneys.
The goal of mediation is negotiation to come to a voluntary settlement, but a settlement is not always the outcome of mediations. Parties who undergo mediation are not bound by the settlement reached, so any party can go to court and sue the other party, bringing their dispute back to square one. It is for this reason that civil and commercial mediation law attorneys are needed to help the parties reach a win-win resolution and avoid the costly, lengthy and burdensome litigation process that may not also result to the desired outcome of the parties. Success rates of mediation is high and, if successful, can save both parties huge amounts of money that will be drained when the disputes are taken to court.