What is meant by success?
– If it means that a resolution is achieved either during a mediation session or within a reasonable time thereafter, then in fact most mediations are successful.
– If it means that even if a resolution is not achieved within that framework, but the parties finish the mediation with a better idea of each other’s case – and their own – and therefore can proceed to a faster and cheaper resolution, then almost all mediations are successful.
There is one assumption here: that the mediation is conducted by a skilled mediator. Typically, you don’t want your 10th grade history teacher doing your root canal, and you don’t want your dentist teaching history (though I confess to having a dentist who has taught me some history, even if the situation wasn’t one that lent itself to an active dialogue). A lousy mediator can waste your time, and a really lousy mediator could conceivably make things worse.
However, having participated in and conducted hundreds of settlement negotiations and mediations, it is clear that the downsides to mediation are minimal, other than reducing the fees of attorneys who may benefit by prolonged litigation. That is not the motivating force for most attorneys, many of whom realize that controlling litigation costs and achieving quick results can create a grateful client. But it has been known to happen.
Now, let’s break this down into the four different areas where Shaffer Mediation can provide assistance, beginning with divorce. In my next blog, I’ll focus on the advantages of mediation in a divorce negotiation.
We would be happy to answer any questions you may have about mediation. Please feel free to call or leave a comment in the reply box below.