More and more disputing parties are turning to alternative methods of dispute resolution, due to the high cost and time-consuming nature of litigation these days. Mediation is a non-binding method of dispute resolution. The mediator serves as a neutral third party who assists the disputing parties in reaching a voluntary, mutually agreeable solution. The mediator is merely a facilitator in the process and has no authoritative decision-making power. He or she will not give advice or offer opinions on the outcome of the conflict. Mediators that qualify to be included on the list of “approved mediators” of various Michigan courts must meet the specific training requirements set forth by the Supreme Court of Michigan.
Many courts in Michigan refer parties to mediation during the litigation process. If the parties are referred to mediation, the attempt at mediation becomes mandatory, but an agreement does not. Any agreement reached by the parties in mediation is always voluntary.
Mediation is also a good option before litigation begins; many disputing parties are able to resolve their conflict without ever filing a lawsuit. Because mediation can address all relevant and negotiable issues between the parties, many disputing parties find mediation to be a very efficient and effective alternative to litigation that is often costly, time-consuming, and emotionally draining. In addition, unlike many issues in litigation, mediation is completely confidential.
Because of the voluntary nature of the process and the parties’ total control of the outcome, parties involved in mediation are far more likely to be satisfied with the outcome of their dispute. Any voluntary agreement reached by the parties will become a binding and enforceable contract.
Advantages of Mediation:
- The parties are not bound only by legal causes of action; any negotiable issue between the parties can be mediated
- Outcomes are voluntary, and they are tailored to the needs of the parties (not dictated by law)
- Mediation is faster and less-costly than litigation
- Mediation, unlike litigation, may improve (or at least not worsen) the relationship between the parties
- Mediation is completely confidential
If you are interested in, or have any questions about, civil mediation, please call Rebecca at 517-206-0364 for a free phone consultation.