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

Is mediation possible when parties are fighting intensely?

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2024 | Mediation

Conflicts often become legal issues, in part, because the people involved cannot reach an amicable agreement. Perhaps one business partner discovered that the other embezzled from the company they started together. Maybe spouses have begun preparing for a divorce and can barely tolerate being in the same room with one another. Neighbors embroiled in a boundary dispute may also experience heightened emotions that make calm communication all but impossible.

Some disputes are so serious that resolving them amicably is frankly unrealistic. However, the intensity of the emotions that people experience does not automatically preclude them from pursuing forms of alternative dispute resolution. Mediation can be a useful tool that helps people resolve major disputes that would otherwise require court intervention. Even in scenarios where people cannot be in the same room as one another without getting into a loud argument, mediation could be a viable option.

Mediation isn’t always a face-to-face process

Contrary to what many people believe about the mediation process, it does not always require that the parties sit down together in the same space. That may be the most efficient means of mediating, but it is far from the only option. In cases involving high levels of conflict, it is sometimes possible to arrange for caucus mediation, which some professionals call shuttle mediation.

The main difference between this approach and traditional mediation is that the parties involved in the dispute are in separate spaces. The mediator might keep them in separate rooms and go back and forth between them. The process could also involve one or both parties using digital technology to call in and communicate with the mediator.

Mediation can even occur in completely separate physical locations in some cases. It is possible for a mediator to communicate with both parties involved in a dispute separately while working to help them resolve the issue. The flexibility of different forms of mediation makes alternative dispute resolution a more accessible option even when the conflict seems impossible to resolve and emotions run high.

There are numerous benefits to successfully mediating major conflicts including increased control over the outcome, enhanced privacy protections and potentially a faster resolution to the issue. Attempting mediation could help more quickly and fully resolve a conflict that has disrupted a family or a business. Those who understand what the mediation process entails can better evaluate whether alternative dispute resolution might be a viable option for settling a significant dispute.