There are several different ways of settling a legal conflict, such as a family law matter or a personal injury case. Your attorney will help you decide the best way of resolving your conflict. You may hear the words litigation and mediation when you are working out the case details. These are the various differences between litigation and mediation.
Attorneys at SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) law firm provides professional legal advice and services to clients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and surrounding locations.
Difference Between Litigation and Mediation
Litigation is a more formal term for lawsuit. It’s the process of coming to a legal resolution in disputes in cases that range from personal injury to breaches of contract and divorce. The end goal in these cases is usually not criminal punishment but compensation and a favorable resolution. Mediation is another alternative to litigation.
Mediation works towards settling a case without trial. The defendant, plaintiff, and both sides’ attorneys will work with a neutral third party to come to a solution. The job of a mediator is not that of a judge, jury, or arbitrator. Instead, it’s to listen to both parties, look at documents, and learn about the case before trying to facilitate conversation between the parties.
Mediation doesn’t arrive at a legally binding decision. It’s successful only when both sides agree to settle. Mediation is a voluntary process in most cases. It can turn into a lawsuit if there is no agreement. No one can be forced to settle during mediation. If an agreement is not reached, both parties go back to where they were before.
Mediation vs. Litigation – Which is Better?
Whether litigation or mediation serves your needs better depends largely on the type of case you have. Mediation is recommended in cases where you think you can arrive at an agreement with the other party. You should only have arrived at an impasse in your negotiations.
Mediation is quicker than litigation. You will be able to take the focus off the case and get on with your life quicker with mediation. Based on this, mediation doesn’t always offer the best solutions. In some cases, it may be better to go down the litigation route. This is especially if you don’t think the other party will settle the matter in a fair manner that serves your best interests.
Does Mediation Require an Attorney?
Each party should preferably have their individual attorneys even if they decide to mediate. The attorneys will provide ongoing legal advice to ensure that the individual entities are aware of their respective responsibilities and rights. Both parties should also be aware of the legal consequences of arriving at an agreement.
Your attorney will review the agreement and discuss its benefits and limitations in terms of your personal interest. The mediator will not provide you with legal advice. Hence, each party should have their own attorney for the purpose.
Lawyers at the SBEMP law firm, who have been through the legal minefields before, serve clients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and nearby locations for a range of legal practice areas.
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SBEMP LLP is a full service law firm with attorney offices in Palm Springs (Palm Desert, Inland Empire, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells), CA; Indian Wells, CA; Costa Mesa (Orange County), CA; San Diego, CA; New Jersey, NJ; and New York, NY.
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