The best reason for utilizing mediation to settle disputes is simple: MEDIATION WORKS. While the percentage of successful settlements varies somewhat depending on the context of the dispute and the skill of the mediator, statistics prove that mediation consistently achieves a final resolution in a significant majority of cases. One recent study confirmed an 83% settlement rate of mediated cases across the board in the private sector, including 87% for both contract disputes and workers compensation claims. Mediation is also highly effective in settling governmental matters, including the successful resolution of 75.6% of all EEOC claims in 2011, for example.
Unfortunately, some business owners and managers donít yet know that mediation of commercial disputes and workplace/employment matters in particular are now widely regarded as the preferred, superior method for resolving business disputes.
Litigation costs have skyrocketed in recent years to the point that our judicial system has become less and less accessible to the average business owner, and is simply beyond the reach of most individuals. The Federal District Courts have become so clogged that as of September 30, 2011, the average lawsuit now takes 24.8 months from the time it is filed until trial, and the average judge has more than 400 newly filed cases to contend with each year. On top of that, it is becoming more and more common for a litigated case to be appealed and drag on for many years after trial. According to a recent study by the DOJís Bureau of Justice Statistics, state court appeals are filed in 11 percent of all tort trials, 21 percent of trials involving contracts and 24 percent of property trials.
Of course, the protracted nature of litigation in and of itself isnít what has the worst impact on litigants. In the context of commercial litigation, the tremendous drain on human capital and other company resources can have a disastrous effect on the balance sheet both directly and indirectly, and can potentially force an otherwise healthy business into financial collapse.

In contrast, mediation provides all parties with an opportunity to pursue a quick, efficient and cost-effective resolution to virtually any dispute. A decision to not even attempt a resolution through mediation simply makes no economic sense, and inevitably results in a substantial and prolonged commitment of company resources that might have been avoided.

No matter what the most vigorous objective analysis may indicate regarding the risks to which any party to a dispute is subjected, the truth is that it may have no relationship at all to the degree or types of risk that actually exist. This is especially true with respect to litigation, and when it comes to juries, any seasoned trial attorney can tell true-life horror stories that make you wonder why anyone in their right mind would choose to roll the dice and let a group of strangers dictate a binding decision in any civil dispute. The high degree of risk is inevitable, given that the only qualifications to be a jury member are that the person is at least 18 years old, lives in the county where the lawsuit is being tried, and they know absolutely nothing about the case.

Conversely, the parties to a dispute are the ones that know the most about it and are in the best position to control its outcome. Mediation is a highly effective vehicle for the participants to create, define and implement an acceptable outcome if it is possible to do so.

There is good reason for the proliferation of well-staffed Risk Management Departments that are vital to the success of any medium-to-large business today, and the most prosperous organizations in the long run are those that actively work to instill a company-wide culture where the avoidance of risk becomes second nature. Put simply, a healthy bottom line just doesn't correlate with an appetite for risk, and routinely attempting to resolve disputes through mediation should be an integral part of any companyís risk management policies and procedures.
Mediation is, by definition, a purely non-binding process that provides a unique, confidential forum in which the participants are free to explore whatever creative options may be available to resolve a dispute. Since it is non-binding and confidential, there is no real risk created simply by participating in mediation. In stark contrast, disputes that are allowed to continue are fraught with risk for all concerned, inevitably growing and resulting in a deeper and deeper divide between the parties that all too often results in litigation. It should be obvious that the only way to eliminate the risks that are unavoidably intertwined with any dispute is to resolve the dispute at some point before a court verdict is handed down.
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Mediation Services, PLLC
Providing Dispute Resolution Services Throughout the Midwest
The Three Best Reasons
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