Going to court can be a costly and time-consuming way to settle disputes. Here’s how to know if mediation is a more appropriate solution.
There’s nothing appealing about going to court, but sometimes legal proceedings are necessary. Mediation can often offer legally-binding solutions that do not require the same preparations, time, and expenses as going to court. Here’s how to know if mediation is right for you.
The Case Is Civil, and You Want It to Remain Civil
Typically, criminal cases cannot be settled in mediation, which means that a case must be in a civil area of law practice in order to seek mediation. Mediation is especially popular for those who want to maintain a civil relationship with the person(s) they are opposing. Attending court can rapidly escalate tensions, so any litigation where parties will remain in contact long term, such as divorce, child custody, or contract disputes, can benefit from mediation. However, for those who want to set a legal precedent, make a statement, or get a conviction, such as in cases of sexual harassment, going to court may be a better avenue.
You Want to Avoid Court Costs
Mediation costs can be broken up into three categories: the fees of the mediation institution, the cost of hiring the mediator, and the parties’ direct costs, such as travel. By contrast, small claims courts often require a number of fees, including a $15 to $200 fee simply for filing the case, before proceedings even begin. It is also important to consider that while mediation often results in a timely decision on the clients’ schedule, court cases can last days or weeks and require clients to take time off of work.
You’ve Already Consulted a Professional for Advice
Mediation often begins with pre-mediation contracts, during which parties agree on who will mediate and how they will be paid. However, before pre-mediation contracts are drawn up, the parties involved should contact an experienced attorney to discuss whether their case should stay in mediation or go to court. Our clients sometimes need a consultation to find all the reasons their case should go to court or mediation.
Mediation is a popular way to achieve legally-binding decisions without the fees, time, and stress typically associated with court proceedings. In order to ensure mediation is the right decision, call Sarabeth T. Bradley at 985-888-1874 today to schedule a consultation!