Litigation can be inherently uncertain, time consuming and expensive. This is fundamentally why the majority of disputes that come across our desk are resolved out of court.
Parties are encouraged to participate in Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR“) in all jurisdictions in Australia. However, the type of ADR process used will differ depending on the nature and circumstances of the dispute. These processes can include Conciliation, Settlement Conferences, Arbitration or Mediation.
Whilst there are some matters that can only be resolved by determination at trial, if the parties can assess the value of what they are fighting for and weigh this up against the costs of going to trial, a resolution at Mediation will save on time, money, opportunity and emotion.
Mediate as a preferred Alternative Dispute Resolution Process?
Mediation is a common process used for settling disputes with the assistant of an impartial third party, ‘the Mediator’. It allows the parties to flesh out the real issues in dispute and to encourage the parties to compromise on certain matters in order to achieve an outcome.
Parties can mutually agree to participate in Mediation or, otherwise, in some instances, are ordered to participate by the Court.
Mediation can occur at any stage of the proceedings but the earlier the better, before the costs start to escalate and your wallet starts to hurt.
Benefits of Mediation
The five major benefits of participating in a Mediation are:
- Controlling the outcome
At mediation both parties will have an opportunity to have a say and agree on an outcome that they would be prepared to walk away with.
The parties can also agree to specific terms and releases which mutually benefit one another.
- No winner no loser
Mediation is likely the last opportunity for the parties to resolve the dispute prior to a final hearing. Once a final order is made there will only be one satisfied party, the successful one.
A resolution at Mediation will result in a mutually beneficial outcome without necessarily one party being more out of pocket more than the other (depending on the terms of settlement).
Mediations are conducted on a without prejudice basis which allows the parties to discuss matters openly and without pressure of offers being used against them at a final hearing.
Further, unlike the potential publicity of court proceedings, everything said at the mediation is entirely confidential to the parties (unless specifically agreed otherwise).
- Tying in other matters not subject of the proceedings
Mediation allows the parties to vent all issues, including issues which may not be particularly relevant or pleaded in one’s claim.
It also provides an opportunity for apologies, statements of regret, acknowledgements and confidentiality clauses to be included in the settlement which is more than what a hearing could provide.
- Saving money, time and stress of going to trial.
These benefits speak for themselves.
Gold Coast Lawyers at OMB Solicitors can assist you in resolving your dispute in a commercial and timely manner. We provide tailored advice to client’s based on the individual circumstances of the case.