Mediation encourages parties to discuss their real interests. It avoids a discussion of “right and wrong” as much as possible. Where legal issues arise, some discussion of legal principles is unavoidable and acts as set of boundaries for their discussion. Dwelling on right and wrong’ is a vicious cycle and does not help parties to resolve their conflicts. Mediation encourages parties to set out the facts as they understand them; identify their interests; see whether the other parties share any of those interests; look at any issues ie legal issues that may also have to be dealt with; engage in a discussion of practical options that can satisfy as many of those interests as possible; and negotiate the terms of a written agreement with the mediator’s assistance. Mediation is a staged process which is fluid and adaptable to change whenever necessary.
Mediations can proceed quickly and inexpensively. The courts are generally backlogged especially in the Greater Toronto Area. In many jurisdictions this backlog results in law suits taking three to five years to reach trial. Litigation is also procedurally complex and costly.
Mediations are generally booked on a half or whole day basis depending on the complexity of the conflict and scheduling can be achieved quickly.
In some cases, the parties need or want to repair a damaged relationship. Mediation because it seeks resolution and not blame can be very helpful.
Because the parties participate in crafting their own settlement, they take ownership of the result.