Can mediation help you avoid going to trial entirely?
The short answer is maybe.
We'll start by taking a look at the basics and process involved in mediation.
What Happens During Mediation?
While lawsuits are essential to a functional legal system, they can also cause serious stress. Going to trial may not always be necessary for a legal matter to be brought to a satisfactory conclusion, and mediation presents an opportunity for resolution.
With an emphasis on negotiation or potential settlement, direct negotiation or assisted mediation can help to avoid taking your case before a jury or judge in court.
Mediation is an opportunity for the stakeholders in a claim to get together and try and resolve the dispute on their own. Mediation provides an opportunity for the parties to decide a dispute under terms that the y agree to as opposed to having a judge or jury that will never know as much about the case as the parties decide the dispute.
Resolution of the claim almost always involves compromise by both of the parties involved. This compromise may include financial settlements, an agreement on whether or not one party will admit responsibility legally, new legal contracts signed by both parties, or many other potential types of settlement. Mediation also has the added advantage that it can involve resolution terms that a judge or jury may not be able to provide, such as a written apology or confidentiality agreement.
Should I Call a Lawyer Before I Try to Speak to the Other Party About Mediation?
We do advise that you seek a consultation with a legal representative before attempting any kind of lawsuit mediation.
While a successful mediation should help you avoid a lengthy trial process, you will still want to have as much information available to you as possible before you sit down with the other party.
A legal representative can help you go over the details of your unique situation, and help you to come to a decision as to the settlement or compromise options available to you.
Additionally, a number of counties in South Carolina require that the parties attempt to resolve the case at mediation before a case can go to trial.
Sometimes, It's even worth mediating a claim prior to filing the official lawsuit to see if you can take this step ahead of time.
Considering Mediation? Give Us a Call.
While this has been an introduction to the process of mediation and how you can utilize lawsuit mediation to avoid going to trial, there are many more details to discuss about the types of mediation you may attempt and how to know whether or not mediation is right for you.
We'll take a look at direct negotiation vs. assisted mediation, and which may be right in your situation, in an upcoming blog post next week.
Until then, if you've been involved in a situation where you feel lawsuit mediation could help you avoid going to trial, or to come to a mutually agreeable conclusion, Bluestein Attorneys is here to help.
Reach us by phone at (803) 779-7599 or contact us online at any time. We'd be happy to speak with you about the events that have led you to consider mediation or filing a lawsuit, and help you decide which next step is right for you.