Undeterred by today’s economic malaise litigation’s cost continues to rise. In contrast, alternative dispute resolution provides savings of time and money, while enabling the participants to fashion a final conclusion to their conflict.
No lesser an authority than Abraham Lincoln is reported to have said, “… Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser–in fees, expenses, and waste of time …”
A skilled mediator fosters communication, brings focus and generates options that meet the needs and interests of the parties. The process of mediation has evolved over the years from something that resembled a judge conducting a settlement conference, in which the parties engaged in the “dance” of posturing, confrontational behavior coupled with extreme demands/offers.
Though vestiges of the settlement conference model continue to exist, the contemporary mediator builds trust employing confidentiality as the cornerstone, while bringing their training and experience to bear in assisting the parties to negotiate effectively. If the matter is not resolved during the mediation session, “follow-up” by the mediator not just tolerated it is expected to continue until negotiations result in resolution.