By David Baron
Mediation offers an alternative to litigation or arbitration for resolving disputes. It involves the services of a mediator selected by both parties. But unlike arbitration or litigation, there is no legally binding effect upon participants.
As a low-cost alternative to arbitration and litigation, mediation enables employers and contractors to enjoy civil relations while pursuing a solution to a controversy. It usually eliminates the expense and ill will incurred during litigation.
Tips for Selecting a Mediator
Consider the following characteristics before approving a mediator:
- Impartiality – is the mediator a fair and impartial party respected by both contractor and employer?
- Experience – does the mediator have solid background in dealing with disputes? It’s a good idea to select a mediator who has expertise in the field under consideration. If the dispute involves building or construction, select a mediator who is well versed in engineering and construction topics.
- Cost – Inquire about the hourly fee charged by the mediator, based on the simplicity or the complexity of the dispute.
What is the Mediation Process?
Unlike a court trial, both parties are in separate rooms during mediation, with the mediator visiting both in turn to broker a resolution. Each party can present offers and counteroffers to the mediator for consideration.
It’s wise to consider mediation as soon as any problem that has been brought up between both parties can’t be resolved. Starting mediation as soon as possible helps to prevent negativity and heightens the likelihood of reaching a positive resolution.
In construction disputes, mediation helps to prevent a breach of contract so that both parties remain profitable with a contract in place. Breached contracts usually result in expensive litigation, but mediation helps keep contracts and otherwise prosperous business partnerships in place while differences are ironed out.
Do I Need An Attorney During Mediation?
There are numerous advantages to being represented by one of our Palm Springs mediation attorneys to protect your rights during the mediation process. We can help you find the right mediator and advise you regarding issues and agreements that are legally binding. We can also help in arriving at the right compromise to avoid the time and expense of proceeding to litigation.