Mediation is an alternative to litigation and is probably the most popular form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Attending court through litigation can be a extremely expensive, time consuming and stressful, it can sometimes take more than a few months, sometimes even years. There is no complete certainty that there will be a favourable outcome for either of the parties. The majority of the time, what each partiy are hoping to achieve is near enough impossible to do through litigation. But, during mediation, the parties can point out their key issues and interests and because mediation is a flexible process, it allows parties to come to imaginative and comprehensive agreements.
As a form of alternative dispute resolution, mediation is the quickest and most financially effective way of obtaining an decent agreement between both parties. It is being used more and more by people who want a solution to their disputes. The mediators main aim is to find that agreeable solution for which both parties are happy, which then leads on to a finalising settlement, ending any potential need for the parties to attend court. Both parties would choose and accept the mediator, who is therefore completely impartial to either party. Prior to mediation the appointed mediator will require details of the case from the party's legal advisers to ensure that they are completely up to date with the case and briefed fully, having understood both parties' issues.
The process is completely confidential, which is a bonus when avoiding any unwanted publicity that could occur if a case is taken to court through the litigation process. Any agreements and settlements that are made during mediation will not set legal precedents for future disputes with the same or a similar situation. If the mediation is unsuccessful and the dispute has to go to court, any concessions made during the mediation process will not be accounted for in court as the mediation was completely confidential.
Both parties will have the support and assistance of the appointed mediator as well as their legal advisers throughout the mediation process. This will allow the parties to discuss the dispute at hand, negotiate appropriately and hopefully move towards a solution, all the while in a safe and confidential environment where nothing that the parties say or do will effect their case or the decisions made in anyway. This will even the case if an agreement cannot reached and court action is required. Mediation is a highly regarded process nonetheless. The courts encourage parties more often to use mediation as an option instead of going straight to court.