At MLG Business Litigation Group, our Florida and California attorneys know that owning a company comes with challenges big and small. Unfortunately, some of these obstacles are accompanied by legal proceedings that can change the landscape of the company’s operations, and its success.
In others, including breach of contract debates and partnership and LLC member disputes, mediation may provide a timely and less expensive solution to courtroom litigation.
Here is a simplified look at what happens when individuals and businesses choose to settle their differences through mediation, instead of inside a courtroom.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a flexible dispute resolution process where an impartial third party — the mediator — facilitates negotiations between clashing parties to help them outline their differences, and devise mutually acceptable solutions.
Mediators do not take sides, make decisions, offer legal advice, or reveal confidence.
They simply ask questions, reframe issues, assist the parties to understand each other’s stances, and help identify solutions.
How Preparing for Mediation?
Before entering a mediation session, all appropriate decision-makers must be present. If the session is missing key players, who can successfully negotiate and agree to the terms discussed therein, the session may result in the same way it began — at an impasse.
Next, participants should consider what dispute details are important to them, so they can establish and visualize the bigger picture.
Ideally, each party should enter the mediation process with a clear understanding of their stance, the other party’s point of view, and how each relates to the outcome. This means gathering facts and understanding that this will be a give-and-take process.
When parties enter the mediation process with the assumption that it is a waste of time, knowing they will not negotiate, it certainly will be. Mediation requires an open mind, and the ability to compromise by focusing on crucial factors that impact their businesses now and going forward.
What is The Beginning of Mediation?
Mediation sessions usually begin with the introduction of the mediator to the disputing parties.
He or she will provide procedural ground rules, which include instructions like making no interruptions when the other party is speaking.
The mediator will explain the process thoroughly, including outlining the dispute for clarification, time allocation, confidentiality, and a commitment from all involved parties that they are in the mediation session to seek a resolution in good faith.
What is the Mediation Process?
The mediation process is designed to be flexible and relatively informal. This allows the parties to understand each other’s side of the dispute, and what happens if it is not settled within the forum.
The mediator can explain both side’s stances, and the risks associated with litigation, should they not agree. Although a mediator cannot give legal advice to either party, he or she can make the laws surrounding the dispute clear, so that each party knows what may happen if the dispute moves inside a courtroom.
The Mediation Outcome
Mediation typically results in settlement when the parties can find a resolution to the case that, given the circumstances, is better for everyone involved than continued litigation.
Although the mediation agreement may not be exactly what the parties expected before the process started, they can probably agree that the time and resources saved during the session(s) are beneficial to all.
Contact MLG Business Litigation Group to Learn More About Alternative Dispute Resolution
If you are facing a legal dispute that may be better suited for mediation than an ongoing litigation battle, contact our MLG Business Litigation Group attorneys in Florida and California today at (786) 706-9228 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.
We can help you determine the best legal approach to putting your dispute behind you, so you can get back to work.
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