Mediation in Civil Cases
Mediation is a process where parties meet with a neutral third person called a mediator to help the parties resolve their dispute. Mediation can be done at any time, prior to a lawsuit being filed or during the litigation process. Mediation is typically a voluntary process where the parties can reach an agreement, but only if both sides agree. Nobody is ever forced to reach an agreement. More importantly, the process is confidential, meaning that the information exchanged, whether verbal or written, cannot be used against that person.
Although mediation is not a court proceeding or a hearing, it is a process where the party wants to reach an agreement that they feel is fair. In order to achieve that, it is crucial to have an experienced civil litigation attorney who can formulate arguments using law and evidence in order to position you with a tactical advantage to negotiate. Negotiations without having a legal position to back it up is not only weak, but often leads to an unproductive mediation session.
Anther important reason to hire an attorney prior to attending mediation, is to determine strategically when the best time for you to attend mediation is. Every case is different, and timing is everything. For example, if the other side has all of the document needed to prove your position and is unwilling to hand them over, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit and do formal discovery (a legal tool used to obtain information during litigation) forcing the other side to produce the requested documents. Once those documents are in your possession, analyzed and a strategy is set in place with your civil litigation attorney, then at that point you a ready to attend mediation.
Some of the advantages that mediation has over seeing your case through trial include:
- You can resolve your case faster than traditional litigation;
- It is less expensive than months or years of litigation ultimately going to trial;
- The information exchanged is confidential;
- You have more control of the results, in litigation either a judge or a jury will be the decision-maker and there is never a guarantee of what that outcome will be;
- Parties are more likely to comply with the terms they enter into because they feel it is something they agreed to;
- If preserving the relationship is something you want, there is a greater chance of achieving it through mediation than through court proceedings.
If you want more information regarding mediation, contact our office to speak with one of our San Diego civil litigation attorneys. We offer free initial consultations to all new clients. You can contact us by calling 619-908-1495 or completing our online intake form to get started.