Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution. In other words, it is a way to solve legal battles without having to go down the court route. It can be used in practically any kind of dispute, if the parties are willing to engage in the process.
Mediation involves both parties meeting in a neutral venue. A mediator is appointed prior to the date of mediation, and he/she will act independently of both parties seeking to help the parties find a resolution to their dispute. The parties do not have to come face to face during this process. Both parties give the mediator their side of the case and the mediator will then seek to aid a resolution to the problem. Once agreement is reached, a mediation agreement is drawn up by the parties’ legal advisors.
There are many advantages to mediation, such as:
It is usually less expensive than going down the court route, particularly if the issue is resolved at an early stage in the proceedings.
Mediation can be dealt with in a timely fashion, and there is not the lengthy waiting period found in the court system.
The mediation process can provide more flexible awards. A Judge is usually confined to finding fault (or not) and awarding damages. The parties to a mediation, however, are free to agree anything they like, e.g. an apology or an agreement to do something.
Mediation takes place in private, therefore it is not in the public domain unlike the court system.
Of course, there are also disadvantages to mediation and the main ones are as follows:
If the mediation fails, and one has to resort back to the court route, this can add an extra layer of costs on to the legal bill.
If mediation fails, the parties may have often exposed their “weaknesses” to the other side which may adversely affect their negotiating position in the subsequent Court proceedings .
Mediation lacks the procedural framework that is inherent in the court system.
In conclusion, mediation can be a cost effective and timely way of solving a dispute, however there is no guarantee of a decision being reached in the end, which forces people to revert the court process again, with a bill for a mediator, and often with their case exposed to the other side.
Contact us at Cantillons Solicitors at +353 (0)21 -4275673 or [email protected] if you would like more information.
* In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage of any award or settlement.