Mediation provides for the safe and secure use of confidential information to resolve lawsuits and disputes.

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I doubt whether anyone has a legal right to keep their garbage confidential. However, there are a couple of real legal rights of confidentiality that you should know about any time you face a legal dispute.   If you hire an attorney, your conversations with your attorney are confidential.  That’s called the attorney-client privilege.   Did you know that there is another legal right of confidentiality that will keep a lot more communications confidential than just those you have with your own attorney?

In mediation, you have the legal right to speak confidentially with not only your own attorney but also with the opposing parties and their attorneys.

The attorney-client privilege only causes people to do one thing, invest more time and more money pursuing litigation.  However, litigation rarely resolves anything and you won’t get very far along to resolve things out of court if you are only willing and able to speak with your own attorney.   You need to speak with the other parties to figure out what they are thinking and how they might propose to resolve the situation.  To do this you need some assurances and protection.  Everyone needs to be assured that whatever they say will not be used against them later.   Mediation and the mediation privilege does exactly that.  Its the legal right and obligation to keep all communications between everyone who attends a mediation conference confidential.

An ounce of trust placed in a good mediator is often worth more than a ton of litigation.

People are used to trusting their own attorneys and relying on them to get the information they want and need to decide how and when to resolve a lawsuit. However, your attorney can rarely get from the other side, the full story, not without a long, expensive discovery fight in court.   There is an easier way to get the facts and figures you need to try to decide how to settle a lawsuit. Imagine all the parties to the lawsuit assembled in a safe room.  Imagine a process unfolding in that safe room run by a neutral third party with no prior history or stake in the dispute.   Imagine placing your trust in this person knowing that they are legally required to keep everything you tell them confidential.   Imagine that this person could be trained to ask questions and speak privately with everyone to hear all sides of the case; the strengths, weaknesses, interests, priorities and fears of all parties.  Imagine that once this trustworthy neutral person acquires confidential information from both sides that they can use this “crystal ball” of knowledge to help both sides negotiate to get more of what they really want to settle the lawsuit out of court.  Just imagine…….better yet just mediate.

Use mediators to escalate conflicts up to the point where everyone can make informed decisions.

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Mediation is designed to bring people together, and keep them together long enough to engage in a meaningful discussion that is designed to escalate conflicts up to the point where informed decisions can and will be made faster on how to resolve the conflict privately out of court.

It’s never premature to ask the tough the questions.

Procrastination won’t solve lawsuits and disputes and, in most cases, neither will lawyers and judges.  More than 95% of all cases are settled out of court by a private negotiation. Mediators are often hired to quarterback these settlement negotiations.  They know how to ask everyone the tough questions to help lead both sides to gain a much clearer and faster understanding of opposing views and interests.

The goal of mediators is to restore communications and bring everyone to a point where they are able to make a decision.    A good mediator will review in detail, both the strengths and weaknesses of all sides to a case make sure everyone understand what outcomes are possible or impossible in court.  A good mediator should help formulate and present at least one or more out of court settlement proposals.   Done right, people leave mediation with no doubt that they accomplished more during a few hours in mediation than they could otherwise accomplish fighting for months if not years in an adversarial lawsuit.

You can choose the short route or the long and winding road. 

People naively believe that, once an agreement is broken, all communications must cease and everyone should now wait and rely on lawyers and judges to tell them when to speak, what to say and exactly how to say it.   However, you don’t have to wait.  Time is money. Cut to the chase.  Mediation enables everyone speak confidentially and to say exactly what they want and why.

Litigation is the long and winding road, a round-about way to get to the point. Mediation, on the other hand, is a short, focused, legally enforceable private conversation and negotiation that you can order at any time.  Mediation conferences are regularly conducted by trained professionals who are legally required to remain neutral and unbiased and to provide everyone with a fair, flexible, confidential opportunity to speak and be heard. Good mediators are proactive, creative, problem solvers and statistics show that most disputes that are mediated are settled at mediation.  READ MORE.   Even if your case is not settled at mediation, you’ll be a lot closer.   You should leave with a clear understanding what’s  possible, what’s  reasonable what to do next to move closer to an agreement.