Some disputes can only be resolved through litigation. Potential litigants, however, should know that litigation is rarely the best method to resolve claims and should be considered only a last resort. Court battles are time-consuming and expensive and tend to be both destructive to relationships and emotionally distressing for all involved. Even when a final resolution is reached through litigation, the decisions are made, not by the parties involved, but by a judge or jury: People who do not have to live with the results.
Accordingly, many times, alternative methods of dispute resolution, such as mediation, are preferable. Not only are these proceedings held in private - with the parties and mediator bound to strict confidentiality - mediation will generally result in a faster resolution and less expense for all involved. Good faith mediations may even actually serve to strengthen rather than destroy the relationships of the parties - as the confidential proceedings are entered into voluntarily and conducted with respect and decorum. This can be particularly important when the dispute will ultimately affect a business, employment, or personal relationship between the parties. Mediation is simply much more likely to result in amicable resolution than litigation.
Thus, in addition to legal counsel, RLM offers alternative dispute resolution services for both represented parties and individuals who wish to resolve their own disputes without the involvement of the courts. Sometimes, people just prefer the privacy and resolution-focused process of mediation, some seek mediation because of the cost-saving, and some mediations are ordered by a court when the judge feels it would benefit the parties. In any case, unlike litigation which is strictly controlled by the rules of evidence and procedure, mediation is a participant-controlled process. The parties determine how and when they want to mediate and can stop mediating at any time without injury to their legal claims or consequence from the court. Also unlike litigation, the scope of Mediation is not controlled by the court. Mediation can result in the resolution of claims that are not necessarily controlled by the law, and any issue (personal, relational, or business) contributing to the conflict or preventing resolution can be mediated.
If you are in need of a mediator or would like to discuss whether mediation is an appropriate step in your case, contact RLM to schedule an appointment.