The Benefits of Pre-Litigation Mediation
Some of the key benefits provided by pre-litigation mediation are privacy, preservation of relationships, cost and time savings, and preserving business focus. Many of these benefits are very appealing to businesses, but mediation is often only brought up after the litigation has been underway for quite some time.
Pre-litigation mediation offers the parties the opportunity to keep their dispute truly private. Once litigation commences, the dispute is public record. Parties can avoid the attention that might arise out of litigation by taking an opportunity to mediate the dispute prior to filing.
Another benefit of pre-litigation mediation is the opportunity to preserve relationships. In many instances, the parties entered into a business relationship because there existed a mutual benefit. That mutual benefit may remain even in light of a dispute. Mediating prior to litigating gives the parties an opportunity to attempt to avoid permanent or long-term damage to the business relationship. A quick resolution gives the parties the best possible opportunity to continue doing business with each other.
Cost and time savings are obvious potential benefits of pre-litigation mediation. If the parties successfully mediate a dispute prior to litigation, they can avoid many of the expenses associated with legal fees, discovery, etc., and can avoid the time associated with participating in the litigation process.
Businesses exist because they provide a good or service that has the ability to generate income. Focusing on a dispute takes focus away from the core business. This often results in the business generating less income (even without accounting for the costs associated with the litigation). Pre-litigation mediation offers parties an opportunity to mitigate the loss of focus on business, resolve disputes, and re-focus on generating income.
Even if the above benefits are not realized and litigation results, pre-litigation often does a good job of framing the issues early. In doing so, litigation counsel identifies the issues of contention and has the ability to focus litigation efforts on the essence of the dispute.
Matt Thiry, Esq. is a mediator and arbitrator in Atlanta. He specializes business, fiduciary, real estate and probate. To schedule a mediation or arbitration with Matt, please call 888-305-3553 or visit his online calendar.