Mediation is the only dispute forum that leaves the decision with the parties. They can create their own solution and agree it. Anything can be included in the settlement including terms that are not in the pleadings if litigation or arbitration has already started. This flexibility and creativity is key in mediation.
The confidentiality of a mediation creates a “safe place” to explore all and every option for settlement knowing that unless all the parties like the look of the final deal … then there is no deal.
Mediation can happen at any time and as many times as the parties want to engage to explore settlement options. Anytime is a good time and obviously if the proceedings haven’t got far yet then there are legal costs to be saved. However, sometimes you need to take a few steps in the legal process before you or your counterparties want to look at the dispute in a different way. Pragmatism and a willingness to listen to the other side's view is all it takes for a mediation to be successful and the statistic of over 70% success demonstrate that once the right people are in the room settlements do often happen.
Settlements don’t always happen on the day but it is never time wasted. You see the colour of the other side's eyes and you hear their viewpoint, perhaps for the first time. Often it will settle but at least it might narrow the issues between you and enable you to consider over the next few days or weeks whether a settlement is within reach. A mediator only sees his or her job done once all potential avenues have been explored.
"Persuade your neighbours to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker, the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough."