Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that involves parties in conflict sitting down with a trained mediator to address and resolve the critical issues at hand. Mediation is growing as a way to address disputes in many different fields, including ADA and EEOC complaints, employment issues, contract disputes, and union negotiations. |
The settlement process in mediation is managed by a neutral third party trained in mediation. The goal of this process is to bring the parties together to identify vital issues and to communicate together to generate solutions. In the business world, mediation is an informal way to clear up issues without having to engage in complex litigation.
For commercial businesses and parties in disputes, mediation offers many benefits. Compared to litigation, mediation provides a forum that tends to resolve disputes much more quickly. As a result, it is less expensive for both parties since less time is required to meet and discuss the pertinent issues. Scheduling is also much easier since the meetings can be set up around the availability of the disputing parties and the mediator. Parties can work together to discuss and create their own solutions, providing more flexibility when compared with traditional litigation where a judge makes a final determination. This working together can limit further hostility and may even set the tone for a positive and civil relationship post-dispute.
A business dispute mediator needs to communicate with the parties before they meet together in order to understand the dispute. What the mediator learns will influence how to conduct the mediation. It may be counterproductive to have counsel expound the positions of the parties with everyone in the room. At least the parties should all meet in order to execute a confidentiality agreement and to enable both sides to confirm that representatives with authority to decide on a resolution are in attendance or at worst available by telephone.
After the initial joint meeting, the mediator will meet with the parties separately to explore how resolution might be reached. Confidentiality of the communications in mediation is an essential part of the process. It protects the parties and enables them to speak frankly about their interests as distinguished from their legal position if the dispute must be resolved by a judge or an arbitrator.
Not all disputes can be resolved in mediation, but the involvement of a skilled mediator will improve the prospects for a peaceful and efficient resolution. Met Wilson is a mediator and arbitrator practicing in Portland, Oregon specializing on commercial disputes, claims against broker-dealers, consumer claims, real property disputes, franchise disputes, employee claims, construction claims, contract claims, insurance coverage disputes and business torts. For assistance in any of these areas, please call Met Wilson at 503-972-5090 or visit http://wilsonadr.com/
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