About Mediation

Mediation & Litigation

Mediation and Litigation Cannot be Compared
Mediation and Litigation are two different processes, neither of which is a substitute for the other. If your conflict or dispute has legal implications, the best way to protect yourself and make an informed decision is to understand your legal rights and responsibilities. There are many different resources to assist you in this process.

How you are Protected in Mediation
In using mediation, you have as much legal/financial protection as you do in using litigation. This includes:

  • The mediator will direct the discussions to make sure they are productive
  • No decisions will be made without each party fully participating in the decision
  • Each party will have the information, time and support they need to make the decision
  • The parties can consult with other professionals (such as attorneys, accountants, psychologists, etc.) to analyze options and provide advice
  • The parties and the mediator monitor the discussions and can end mediation at any time
  • No agreements discussed will be written in stone until all parties agree to make them legally enforceable

Getting the Best from Both
In complicated situations with high emotions, competing interests, and legal consequences, many people have been satisfied using the services of a mediator and of attorneys as complements to each other. For example, the mediator might guide parties through the process of organizing and identifying issues, then negotiating their own solutions that best meet the needs of themselves and their families. As part of this process, each party might consult with an attorney to inform them on the legal impacts of the options they are considering, and advise them on how to structure agreements to protect the intent of their decisions long term.

Find the Right Attorney
As with mediators, the style and approach that attorneys use can vary widely, and may heavily impact how the dispute unfolds (both in terms of tone, procedure and financial cost). You will be most pleased with the support you get from an attorney if you first identify your goals and values for how you want to approach the dispute itself, then find an attorney who's style is aligned with your values.