“Can we all just get along?” – Lyrics by Guy Sebastian
It is inevitable that conflicts will arise amongst people. We are all different and with differences come disputes. If everyone thought, looked and acted the same we would be living in the world of Madeleine L’Engle’s Wrinkle of Time. The reality is we live in a world filled with complex, distinctively unique individuals that think, act, and look quite different from one another. As the result of our differences, conflicts of interest are bound to occur. Whether it is a marriage coming to an end, two neighbors fighting over property boundary, or business partners dissolving their business, disputes are going to explode. When they do explode, we find clients come to our offices to protect their interests and ultimately help resolve their disputes. That is exactly what we do and more times than not our cases are settled through mediation.
Mediation is a wonderful way to resolve conflicts for our clients. A third party mediator is brought in to listen and resolve the dispute. The mediator acts as a non bias party that’s goal is to negotiate terms that are favorable to all parties involved. Clients whom elect to resolve their disputes in mediation rather than in the court are going to save money. Court trials are long, tiresome and frankly expensive.
Often times the source of disputes is over money. It would defeat the purpose to win the case in court only to be left with no money after all the legal fees were paid off. Mediation offers our clients a chance to be heard, be fairly represented and resolve their conflict without depleting their life savings.
Mediation makes sense for those who are prepared and realistic. We all get heated when emotions bubble to the surface and can develop over the top expectations. But clients that bring realistic expectations to the negotiation table will do well in mediation. It is about compromise. Before entering the mediation, attorneys need to know what realistic expectations their client hopes to achieve highlighting the most important and then also determining items in which they are willing to let go. In many cases, the items that one party holds dearest are often times not the same as the other party, in which case both parties can walk away with their top item in possession.
Mediation also offers clients a platform to speak where in a courtroom this is not available. Clients giving the chance to plead their case, have more control over their outcome.
World peace may be a utopian concept, but resolving conflicts is quite doable. Mediation provides a way for parties to amicably settle their problems and move on with their lives. It provides the perfect opportunity to bring people together and all just get along.