A Certified Mediator With Over 30 Years Of Experience As A Litigator, Corporate Counsel And Superior Court Judge

Effectively explaining mediation to clients

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2024 | Mediation

Many clients are unfamiliar with the alternatives to traditional litigation when legal disputes arise. Mediation is a viable, often beneficial option, yet explaining its nuances to clients can be challenging. It requires a straightforward, accessible approach that demystifies the process and highlights its advantages.

Mastering the art of conveying the benefits of mediation is crucial. This effort can help to set realistic expectations and foster a more collaborative mindset when it comes to alternative conflict resolution approaches.

Emphasize the process is voluntary

One of the critical aspects to emphasize is the voluntary nature of mediation. Clients need to understand that, unlike court proceedings, mediation offers a platform where both parties have more control over the outcome. This empowerment is significant because it can lead to mutually beneficial solutions, which traditional litigation may not consistently achieve.

The confidentiality of mediation is a critical point to highlight. Assuring clients that their discussions and any disclosed information will remain private can encourage a more open, honest dialogue during the process.

Understanding the process

Begin by outlining the basic steps of mediation. Explain that it typically starts with a joint session, followed by private sessions where the mediator meets with each party separately. It’s essential to clarify the role of the mediator as a neutral facilitator who doesn’t make decisions. Instead, they help guide the parties toward a mutually acceptable agreement.

Highlighting the benefits

Focus on the advantages of mediation, such as its cost-effectiveness compared to litigation. Stress that mediation can often be completed more quickly, reducing the emotional and financial strain on clients. Emphasize the flexibility of outcomes in mediation. Unlike a binding court decision that may benefit one party over another, mediation allows for creative solutions that address both parties’ specific needs and interests.

Addressing concerns

Addressing any reservations or misconceptions that clients may have about mediation is vital. Some may fear that mediation signifies weakness or a readiness to compromise excessively. Reassure them that seeking a collaborative resolution is a strategic choice that can lead to more satisfactory, enduring outcomes. Additionally, explain that mediators are skilled professionals trained to ensure the process is balanced and fair.

While some clients may be hesitant to embrace the idea of mediation at first, after benefiting from clarity and reassurance, they may come round.