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Mediation is a smart move when you're dealing with a dispute

Of all the things that you should want to avoid, going to trial is a top concern. Trials are unpredictable, and it can be hard for you to be guaranteed the outcome you want to see.

Fortunately, there are alternatives to going to trial. One such alternative is mediation. Mediation is about more than just "winning." It is about finding a solution that both parties agree with. Whether you're struggling with a contract dispute, construction disputes or arguments involving your homeowner's association, mediation can help.

Why does mediation work?

Mediation is a process that helps resolve disputes by discussing the problem with an independent party present to guide the conversation. You and your attorney can come to the meeting, which will also have the party with whom you're in dispute present. The mediator, a third party, has no interest in the outcome. The only goal of the mediator is to guide the conversation and help you both agree to a resolution.

Since mediation relies on both parties discussing their dispute in a reasonable manner, the mediator will stop the conversation and restart it if the dispute gets out of hand. Both parties need to be respectful. If they can be, a mediation session that ends in a resolution to the conflict could be completed in as little as a day.

Mediation isn't legally binding, so why do people stick with the resolution?

You are right to think that mediation is not legally binding. In most cases, it is not, and the agreement you make will only stand if it is given to a judge and the judge approves it. However, the informality of mediation means that people don't have to come up with an agreement. If they do, they're more likely to see it as a positive way out of the dispute and to uphold it willingly.

If your attorneys are present, they can draw up any legal paperwork required to make the agreement binding immediately, so it can be signed and submitted to the court.

Should you try mediation?

If you have not tried any kind of alternative dispute resolution, then mediation could be a good choice. If both you and the other party are willing to sit down and talk through your dispute, then mediation could work well for you, save you time and money, and prevent you from having to go through litigation in court.

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