Is a courtroom really the best place to start to try to resolve a dispute?

race.to.court

When it comes to settling disputes, many people just don’t know what’s good for them, so they ask lawyers and judges to handle it for them.

Courts weren’t designed or intended to handle every situation.

Courts can’t handle all the lawsuits filed.   Judges and legislators are trying to do more to try to encourage and even require people to try mediation first. Laws now exist requiring mediation in certain limited situations.  That’s certainly a step in the right direction; but, it’s still just too little too late.  It’s time for the courts to channel many, many more cases to mediation and to do it sooner vs later. READ MORE.

Too few opportunities to mediate instead of proceeding with a lawsuit.

Currently, unless a contract or applicable laws requires pre-suit mediation, mediation is never even considered until near the end of a lawsuit.  There is little if any  time reserved to mediate anywhere in between.  Litigants can be left to fight in court for months or even years without making any attempt to resolve the dispute other than proceeding to trial.

Self-determination should include a legal right and opportunity to mediate to try to resolve disputes privately at any time.

Mediation is all about empowering people to decide how and when to resolve their disputes.  Its called the right of self-determination.  If the legal system really believes in this then it needs to do more.  For example, why not amend the rules of court to provide that if at least one party has requested pre-suit mediation, but the other party refuses, then the party who requested pre-suit mediation may use it against him.  Allow the party seeking to mediate plead the other party’s refusal as an affirmative defense in whatever lawsuit the refusing party may choose to file instead?  Give judges the power to dismiss (without prejudice) or at least suspend legal proceeding until a mediation requested by a party is at least attempted.  Such amendments to the court rules puts more teeth in mediation and promotes the self-determination of the more enlightened party, i.e. the one who has tried but been unable to engage other parties in a private communication to mediate a solution without going to court.

Greater access to private dispute resolution processes such as mediation needs to keep pace with the growing number of new causes of action.

Every day more and more new laws are being passed recognizing new rights and new legal causes of action.  People today have a lot more possibilities to sue. People today also have a lot more reasons to sue when you consider that more and more products and services are being bought and sold over the internet, sight unseen. Combine all this with the fact there is no shortage of lawyers and it easy to understand why more and more disputes are routinely being filed in an already overburdened court system.   Its incumbent upon not only legislators and judges but also upon mediators themselves to help better educate people about mediation and to direct more people to such private solutions much sooner. LEARN MORE.

Please show your support of less litigation and more private resolution of conflicts and disputes.

Up to this point, mediation has remained largely a court-annexed process, meaning that lawyers and judges tend to decide when people mediate.  We think people should be able to decide for themselves.   If you agree, please let us know. Please like and follow 4Disputes on Facebook, Twitter and Google+Watch our videos and subscribe to our Youtube channel.

Advertisements