Unlike litigation and arbitration, which look to the past, mediation looks to the future. Mediation is a negotiation assisted by a mediator, an impartial third party who assists the parties in dispute to develop their own solutions to a settlement (instead of the parties agreeing to an arbitrator making the decision for them).
Mediation can increase the likelihood that the disputing parties will continue their relationship, thus leaving an open path to the future. Mediation can either be an alternative to arbitration or a step taken prior to arbitration. The mediator works as a neutral and does not impose a resolution on the parties in dispute.
Our professionals can serve as either mediators or arbitrators, depending upon the dispute and the willingness of the parties to settle.
The value and power of mediation:
- Mediation is more informal than arbitration, yet like arbitration, is confidential
- Mediation offers an alternative to resolve disputes quickly and effectively without the expense and time required for litigation
- Mediation is always an option and can be conducted before, during or even following a court case if the parties agree
- Mediators don’t determine fault and don’t issue decisions, but instead are facilitators, trained and experienced in guiding the parties to develop their own remedies to a dispute
- Because the solutions in mediation are developed by the parties themselves, they often are more acceptable to all parties and can often be more creative and flexible than decisions issued by courts
Arbitration is similar to litigation; testimony is heard, evidence is presented, received and a judgment is made. It is the resolution of a dispute between parties, decided out of courtby an impartial third party, the arbitrator. Its popularity is rising due to the backlog of court cases in the legal system, and the cost of litigating disputes in court. Generally, arbitration saves the parties enormous time and expense.
Arbitration is so effective at bringing the parties in dispute to resolution that matters brought to the arbitration table are often settled prior to the arbitrator’s decision. Hourly fees are incurred for time spent, regardless of whether or not the arbitration is settled among the parties or decided by the arbitrator(s).
Our arbitrators’ abilities to bring the parties in dispute to rapid resolution will save you both time and money.
- Arbitration is often less time-consuming and more cost-effective than traditional litigation
- Expenses associated with jury selection, going through a trial and potential appeals are eliminated
- Discovery proceedings, which can involve significant time and expense, can typically be shortened based on the parties’ agreement
- Hearings can be scheduled at the convenience of the parties rather than the convenience of the court
- The arbitrator’s decision typically is final, legally binding and can be reduced to judgment
- The arbitrator is selected by the parties and is not the result of a “spin of a wheel”
Using a combination of our dispute resolution skills, training experience and years in corporate management, the Synergist Mediation team offers you the opportunity to reduce internal differences, increase efficiency and build engagement throughout your organization.
Launching a major initiative? Want buy-in from key team members? Then think Synergist and make sure they’re heard. You’re not just going to say you’re listening. You’re going to pull them together with a professional who will facilitate a discussion that will engage the members of your team while drawing out useful feedback you can use! A true neutral from Synergist Mediation–an outsider with no personal stake in the decisions–who will help everyone share their thoughts openly!
Having an issue in that team or in a particular department? Key players not getting along? Show them you’re serious about finding a solution that works for everyone by bringing in our dispute resolution professionals to work through the problems and help them identify their interests, so everyone can move forward together.Is there another company or vendor you work with? Suddenly, there’s an issue between you. You know it and they know it, but it’s not getting worked out. Then get Synergist involved! This is what we do. We’ll work through everything with you and them, facilitating a discussion to lead everyone to a better outcome.
The Similarities and Differences Between Mediation and Arbitration
First, let’s address the similarities of arbitration and mediation: both are alternatives to traditional litigation, and you may hear the term alternative dispute resolution, or ADR, used to describe both mediation and arbitration. Both can be used separately or in conjunction with litigation: parties in dispute may first try to negotiate or, may decide they’ve reached an appropriate time—for example, after some amount of discovery has been conducted—to then seek resolution through mediation; even if a matter isn’t completely resolved in mediation, parties often find that the process gives them a better understanding of their own position and leads to a more successful outcome.
Both arbitration and mediation use a third party, known as a “neutral,” to oversee the process, and both can be used to create binding agreements.
It is common to employ mediation as a non-binding process and arbitration as a binding process. In that case, binding arbitration replaces the trial, or litigation, with arbitration.
Arbitration is sometimes conducted by a panel of multiple arbitrators who function much like judges, making decisions about evidence and issuing written opinions (which are binding unless otherwise agreed by the parties); mediation, on the other hand, is often conducted with a single mediator who is a neutral and does not judge the dispute, but simply helps the parties to facilitate discussion and eventual resolution of the dispute.
The Increasing Use of Mediation in Litigation
Mediation is becoming increasingly popular as part of the litigation process. In the State of New York, New York’s chief judge has recently introduced a program to roll out presumptive mediation in all courts throughout the State. Mediation has been shown to be effective in reducing court dockets and trials and increasing satisfactory outcomes for all parties in a cost-effective manner.
Mediation is highly successful because the parties meet in an environment where they can openly and confidentially present their position before a third-party neutral. Mediation enables the parties to narrow the issues in the dispute and focus on the most vital tenets. Participants are often more satisfied, having had the opportunity to air their grievances, and hear the other party’s point of view. The neutral and often more relaxed atmosphere of mediation may eliminate the parties’ inclinations to continue to engage in hostile litigation once both parties have examined all the issues in a fair light.
Mediation can be used for any kind of dispute. Not only is mediation confidential and non-binding (unless the parties themselves decide to enter into a binding agreement), it is normally quicker and much less expensive than litigation.
While our mediators are attorneys and judges, their role is not to act as legal advisors. Rather than acting as legal counsel, they instead aid the parties in coming to agreement.