Friday, March 15, 2013


Alternative dispute resolution is nothing new, but it still seems to be underutilized. Any type of dispute that can be litigated can be mediated: Personal injury, divorce, custody, contract disputes, business dissolutions, neighborhood disputes, even collections.

Mediation is very successful in resolving disputes. While it depends on many factors, including the matter being mediated, the willingness of the parties to negotiate, the parties' attorneys, and of course the mediator, over 90% of disputes submitted to mediation are resolved.

Mediation gives you an opportunity to be heard. Mediation lets parties discuss their disputes in detail. Litigation is highly structured and allows only facts allowed under the strict rules of evidence to be presented. The fact that you may be hurt or angry is irrelevant in litigation, but can be addressed in mediation.

Mediation is much less expensive than litigation. Expert witness, endless motions, and protracted discovery are all unnecessary in mediation.

Mediation puts the parties in control. Litigation forces you to give up control to a judge or jury who only knows what the rules of evidence allow them to hear. Your opinions, feelings, suggestions are not part of the discussion in litigation, but are all important components in mediation.

There are no losers in mediation. In litigation, one side will win, and one side will lose, and even the winner does not always get what he or she wants, and will usually have paid a large sum of money and spent a large block of time. Mediation allows the parties to creatively craft their own solutions.

Mediation is faster. Most mediations are completed in one day. In litigation, your case may linger on the court docket for months, then take weeks or months after your trial to be decided, then take months or years in appeals. Mediation lets you resolve your dispute immediately.

There are a number of ways mediation can be started. Sometimes one party will contact a mediator and let the mediator initiate contact with the other party. Sometimes both parties will select a mediator. Sometimes the attorneys for the parties make the arrangements.

For more information on allowing me to mediate your dispute, please contact our office at 309.736.3117, or visit our website.

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