What is Mediation? | David Bate Law

  • By:David Bate

Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).  It is a voluntary process used to help settle just about any type of dispute, whether there is a lawsuit pending or not. As an experienced business litigation and personal injury lawyer Memphis, TN turns to time and time again in serious cases, we believe mediation can be extremely useful and beneficial to our clients.

Unlike arbitration where an arbitrator makes binding decisions, mediation is an informal, non-binging process.  A neutral mediator – usually an attorney or retired judge – reviews the case or claim information and then acts as a go-between to help reach a settlement of their dispute. The mediation process identifies important issues, clarifies misunderstandings, explores solutions, and hopefully ends with a negotiated settlement. The mediator is not a judge and does not make a decision or impose a solution on the dispute. Rather, the mediator merely helps the parties communicate their positions and resolve the dispute themselves. The mediator manages the mediation process and remains impartial.

Assuming the both sides are willing to participate in mediation in good faith, it is process we generally recommend to our clients.  As experienced litigators and trial lawyers, we know that mediation potentially offers some significant benefits:

  • Speed: The litigation process is lengthy. From the time of filing, most cases will not see a trial date for 1-2 years after filing. Even then, trials are often further delayed due to heavy court dockets and other reasons beyond the control of the parties and lawyers. The mediation process can be used to achieve a much quicker resolution.
  • Less costly. Full blown litigation is expensive. Significant costs are incurred when extensive discovery and depositions are conducted, and when expert witnesses are retained and utilized.
  • Less Stressful and Often Therapeutic. Parties who are involved in a dispute generally want to be heard, understood, and taken seriously. When communication is filtered through lawyers during the litigation process, or when it only takes place during stuffy depositions and on paper, the human elements and emotions involved in a dispute can get lost in the shuffle. When parties attend voluntary mediation, though, the process is informal, there are no court reporters, and parties can speak and express themselves more freely. In fact, in most states there are specific rules which prohibit mediation discussions from ever being used as evidence against a party in the event the case does not settle.
  • Control. If a case goes to a jury or bench trial, there are no guarantees and no one knows what the outcome will be. While your lawyer may be able to provide you with a range of possible outcomes, going to trial is always a gamble. With mediation, the parties, instead of the judge or jury, are in control of how the case resolves.

If you need help with a dispute, or if you’d like to learn more about the mediation process,  contact the business litigation and  personal injury lawyer Memphis, TN  goes to time and time again.

Wiseman Bray Attorneys at LawThanks to our friends and contributors at Wiseman Bray PLLC who have significant experience fighting for injury victims in Tennessee.  Contact Wiseman Bray PLLC today if you need a personal injury lawyer Memphis, TN  depends on time and time again.

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