Sep 09, 2019
When can mediation be used? Mediation is most often used as an alternative to litigation. It’s often referred to as alternative dispute resolution or ADR.
Normally, the mediator will explain the process to each of the parties involved in the dispute. The parties can be anyone - people, organisations, faith groups, government bodies, landlords, tenants, families. The dispute, whilst normally between two parties but can be between more. The mediation process is quite structured.
Mediation can be used to help resolve a number of conflicts, including, but not limited to, the following areas:
Mediation can be used in the workplace including things like interpersonal disputes, manager/staff difficulties, a breakdown in working relationships, staff performance issues, grievances, harassment and bullying.
Mediation can help family disputes. Whilst it is not marriage counselling, and the mediator does not tell parties what to do, it can help the parties to reach their own agreements amicably, whilst trying to improve communication between them. In divorce cases it might be possible for a couple who have decided to separate, to use mediation to sort out problems around the children and to negotiate about future arrangements for them with the help of a neutral third party. Mediation can also be used to discuss arrangements to do with finances and property.
In a civil dispute, such as a party wall dispute, or a noise dispute between neighbours. One characteristic that all of these disputes have in common is high legal fees and in many cases, some form of negotiated position or settlement well in advance of court attendance. A mediation could help resolve the situation quickly and amicably without resort to litigation.
Many commercial disputes are settled prior to a court or arbitration hearing. The parties are able to agree on solutions that would be beyond the scope of a judge or an arbitrator, for example, finding a "win/win" solution by introducing commercial issues not the subject of an existing dispute. With mediation being confidential, by staying out of the courts, it can also allow parties to settle things out of the spotlight of the public, so to speak. An example where this might be effective
Probate is another area where mediation can work. Unfortunately the reality of life today is that legal disputes frequently arise between family members in relation to inheritance and wills. Commonly, this might include executor disputes, will validity and claims under the Inheritance Act. As mediation has the advantage of allowing the parties to retain control with a view to reaching a settlement that they are all comfortable with. It is therefore a very effective means of resolving a probate dispute and one that is considerably cheaper than a conventional trial.
Disputes often arise between landlords and tenants on issues surrounding rent, disrepair, rights, obligations, deposits and service charges and a litigious route to working out differences leads to spiralling costs, loss of income and potentially homelessness. Mediation is therefore a swift and cost-effective resolution to disputes between landlord and tenant
As you can see mediation can be used to help resolve a number of conflicts. So whatever your dispute, mediation could be very helpful in avoiding spiralling legal costs and saving time.