FAQs: Mediation

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a confidential and voluntary negotiation technique to resolve the (civil) disputes. Under the mediation process, parties in dispute seat with an impartial and professional mediator and with the mediator’s help, they try to find a mutually agreeable solution (of their dispute).
A mediator does not impose a decision (as arbitrator does) on parties, but rather assists parties to find a mutually agreeable path of the issue. The final solution, which is a written agreement between both the parties, is a mutually accepted agreement and it is legally binding on both the parties. 

What is difference between Meditation and Litigation?

In mediation, parties (in dispute) identify their problems, make the rules (of mediation process), set time and place, and make out their potential remedies, all they do voluntarily. On the other hand, in the litigation process, once a party files a case in the court of law and initiates the process, all the parties (involved in the dispute) must follow the rules of the court and judge’s instructions. The hearing is done under the applicable municipal law.

In mediation, the mediator acts as a facilitator and does not make any decision on the specific issues. On the other hand, in litigation, the judge after considering all the facts, evidence, witnesses, and other discoveries gives final verdict, which is legally binding on both the parties; however, the final judgment can be appealed in a higher court, but appeal is another lengthy, expensive, and painful procedure. The final agreement of mediation is also legally binding.

The mediation procedures take place at a private place and its decision remains confidential, whereas litigation is not at all confidential.

Litigation is a strict and formal procedure, whereas mediation is an informal and flexible procedure.

Litigation is a lengthy, time taking, and expensive legal procedure, whereas mediation is a simple, less time taking, less expensive, and informal procedure. 

In mediation, parties can choose a mediator of their choice, whereas in litigation, there is no liberty of such kind.

What is the role of a Mediator?

A mediator is a neutral party whose major responsibility is to assist the parties in finding the mutually agreeable solution. A mediator does not judge, assess, or blame any party that he/she is ‘wrong’ and he/she is ‘right,’ but rather a mediator is a ‘referee’ who assists the parties to work together in finding a fair and balanced solution. A mediator lessens the difficulties of dispute and shows the problem areas that help parties to find a fair solution. 

Who is a Mediator?

Normally, an experienced and qualified lawyer, a judge, a jury, or subject expert of a particular field) can be a mediator. More importantly, a mediator is an impartial person who conducts the mediation process as a neutral facilitator.

Where do I find a right Mediator?

The success of mediation process largely depends on the skill set and experience of the mediator. If the mediator is capable, having good experience of the respective subject matter, and skill to understand the psychology of the parties (involved), then he/she can resolve the issue very smartly in a short period of time. We (at Meliora Paralegal) have a team of experts who are well qualified and experienced mediators. Our mediators primarily provide their services i.e. basically guidelines on a phone, skype (or through other such kind of technology), and in person as well - depending upon the convenience of the clients.

What are the advantages of Mediation? 

Though mediation process does not ensure any specific and entirely satisfactory result; however, it is an efficient and effective technique of (civil) dispute resolution. 

Following are the major advantages of mediation:

Time saving: It saves lots of time. In the court, to get a final judgment (even on a small issue) may take years, but through mediation, one can get resolved in a few weeks or in couple of months. 

Money saving: Litigation requires lots of money, mediation does not.

Convenience: In mediation, you can set your time and place to negotiate your issue.

Opportunity to choose your own mediator: In litigation, you cannot choose your judge, but here you can choose your mediator. 

You have more involvement in the final decision-making: In a final decision, parties’ involvement is a major benefit. 

Confidentiality: In mediation, your issue and final decision remain highly confidential.

No mental torture: As litigation process is highly unpredictable, unexpected, and time taking so it naturally gives physical as well as mental pain, but mediation protects you from all such kind of torture. 

Final decision is mutually agreeable and beneficial: Since, parties themselves make the final decision; therefore, it is mutually acceptable and beneficial. 

How much time does the Mediation process take?

Though mediation is a fast technique to resolve the dispute; however, the time of a specific dispute depends on certain facts including the complexity of the case, the availability of parties for mediation, willingness of the parties, and their cooperation.  

What is the Procedure and Technique of Mediation process?

There is as such no strict rule that needs to be followed in a mediation process; however, following are the typical culture and procedure of mediation:

  • An introductory meeting in which all the parties and mediator need to be present;
  • Mediator will initiate the meeting by introducing himself/herself and the objective and motto of the meeting;
  • Each party will be given opportunity to introduce himself/herself;
  • After the introduction, parties are allowed to keep their issue one by one and then mutual discussion;
  • If required, mediator may ask for caucus (i.e. meeting with each party separately and privately);
  • After the caucus, mediator usually calls a joint meeting and negotiates the final solution;
  • If the negotiation is mutually agreeable, then the mediator makes a binding agreement in writing, asks the parties to sign, and then follow the agreement;
  • If the negotiation is not successful, then mediator summarizes the points the parties agreed on and advice them to take further steps. 

Do I need an advocate for Mediation?

Normally, mediation process does not require any advocate or lawyer; in fact, this is one of the advantages of mediation that you do not need to pay your lawyer. 

However, if you don’t have time to attend the negotiation meeting or you think that your lawyer can present you better, in such a situation, you may hire a lawyer for you. 

Can my case be Mediated? Or is my case suitable for Mediation?

Significantly, only civil cases can be mediated, for example, personal dispute, business dispute, husband-wife dispute, family property dispute, contract agreement dispute, landlord-tenant dispute, child custody dispute, etc.

However, in some of the civil dispute where you firmly believe that the other party must accept his mistake and punished or in other words, you do not want any compromise, in such a case, litigation is a right choice. Mediation does not punish any party.