Conflict is a part of life. It cannot be avoided. What matters is how it is handled. It can be confronted, resolved or ignored. Of the alternatives, resolved is by for the wisest course of action. Alternative dispute resolution has been used for centuries, and it is even more popular now.
Mediation is about helping people and businesses resolve disputes without resorting to long and expensive court proceedings or protracted conflicts.
Whether it is the neighbor’s dog relentlessly barking at all hours, a multimillion dollar business crisis, or something in between, the toll, both financial and emotional, can be devastating. Often resolution seems an unattainable goal.
The cost and time needed to litigate even what appears to be a simple dispute can escalate quickly. If the matter is the subject of an arbitration or litigation, the decision is made by a stranger, and the parties must either appeal or live with it.
Although Karolyn practiced law for over 40 years, she now focuses exclusively on mediation, which she sees as a much more sane and satisfying way to resolve disputes than all other alternatives.
In mediation there are no rules of evidence; it’s an informal meeting among the parties, the mediator, and lawyers if the parties want them.
Each side tells their story while the other side listens, and then the roles are reversed. The mediator’s job is to facilitate a resolution of the conflict, which is rarely ideal for either party, but is something both can live with.
A good mediation settlement in one in which each side feels a little pinched, but the case ends with a settlement. The terms can be constructed by the parties to accommodate their current situations, such as structured payments or settlement terms to be completed over a period of time. Any case can be mediated except a criminal matter. And the resolutions in mediated matters have much more flexibility than court or arbitrators’ verdicts.
So many conflicts and disagreements would end better if more people looked to mediation instead of lawsuits to solve disagreements.