The majority of cases never make it into a court room. Most of them are settled out of court before a trial has begun. More people are looking towards Mediation as a way forward. Mediation is a guided negotiation that allows parties to explore the real issues of their disputes.

To go to court is costly and time consuming. It can pit people against each other when what is really need is for the parties involved to come together and discuss what the real issues are. Mediation allows each individual the chance to be heard and to find common ground in order to reach a resolution.

There are a number of significant advantages to Mediation:

  • Greater Control: ­ Mediation increases negotiation power and are not necessarily confined to the strict process of the court. The final result is a decision based on both sides of the dispute rather than a final judgement and imposed conditions.
  • Confidentiality: Unlike court proceedings, mediation is entirely confidential. Parties do not have to be concerned with having embarrassment or shameful facts know to the public.
  • Voluntary and Convenient: Mediation, unless it is court ordered (rare) is entirely voluntary that can be withdrawn at any time. Furthermore, it is easy to set a time for mediation that suits both parties and are not constricted to the interest of efficiency by the courts.
  • Reduced Costs: Litigation can be unpredictable, and costs can increase fast. Mediation generally is a cheaper way to resolve disputes. This can be a major issue for many people and businesses so mediation can help relieve some of the financial burden.

Although there are many advantages mediation allows parties the opportunity to discuss, in a neutral environment, the real issues that face the relationship. Often this process allows for the personal relationships to better navigate the strain of the dispute and persevere.

Emma Mead is a specialised mediator and nationally accredited with LEADR (the Resolution Institute). BurkeMead understand the importance of effective and efficient resolution of disputes that should not always end in the court room.