June 9th, 2023

When Is Mediation the Best Strategy to Resolve a Dispute?

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods such as mediation and arbitration can offer a more affordable and expedient way to resolve legal issues than going to court. At Gross McGinley, LLP, in Pennsylvania, our civil litigation attorneys are well-versed in ADR and work to help clients achieve the best possible outcomes. Although mediation can be a viable option in many cases, it’s important to know whether it is appropriate for your specific situation.

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is a fairly informal process in which a neutral third party facilitates discussions and negotiations between parties to help them resolve disputes. A mediator does not make decisions or rulings, offer legal advice, or take sides. Instead, parties involved in mediation come to their own mutually agreed-upon resolutions. Although the arbitration process is similar to mediation, an arbiter renders a decision that may be legally binding or nonbinding.

Mediators or arbiters can make issues clearer and help parties communicate and identify solutions, which can save a lot of time, hassle, and money. You are not required to have a lawyer present in ADR; however, our civil litigation attorneys recommend that clients always bring legal counsel to mediation and arbitration proceedings.

When is Mediation an Option?

ADR isn’t an option in cases involving criminal charges. However, it can be effective in resolving many different types of civil disputes. Mediation or arbitration often are used in cases involving divorce, child custody, employment disputes, business disputes, and matters such as:

  • Contract disputes
  • Land use disputes
  • Landlord-tenant matters
  • Medical malpractice
  • Personal injury
  • Other matters involving civil law

Struggling With Negotiations

If you’ve been involved in an ongoing dispute or have difficulty starting negotiations, mediation can get the ball rolling toward a resolution. A mediator can help parties focus on specific issues that need to be resolved and help them find common ground. For example, if you’re dissolving a business and you and your partner can’t agree on how company assets should be divided, a mediator can help you parse out who gets what and come to an agreement. Our civil litigation attorneys are skilled negotiators who work hard to help clients settle disputes without the need for ADR or court intervention, but sometimes these processes are necessary to make progress in negotiations.

Preserving Relationships

Business partners, spouses, and others who need to continue relationships for various reasons may be able to resolve disputes more amicably through mediation. Working collaboratively to develop mutually agreeable solutions also can be empowering to all parties involved, and much less expensive and contentious than a drawn-out court battle. After all, achieving harmony in a business, family, or another enterprise is beneficial all around.

Maintaining Control Over Outcomes

Many clients are apprehensive about the uncertainty of leaving decisions up to a judge or jury. When a legal dispute goes to trial, your lawyer can advise you on possible outcomes, but there are no guarantees. In mediation, both parties have a say in the outcome of their negotiations. Although you likely will have to compromise in mediation, you have a hand in reaching a final resolution you can live with.

How a Civil Litigation Attorney Can Help

The lawyers at Gross McGinley, LLP, are well-versed in all aspects of civil law. We thoroughly evaluate the legal issues you’re facing and advise you of all options that may be available for resolving disputes. Whether you’re an employer dealing with an employee dispute, need assistance with business matters such as breach of contract, or need help with divorce negotiations, our experienced, talented teams of civil litigation attorneys can help you work toward effective solutions that protect your interests.

Contact a Civil Litigation Attorney in Pennsylvania

For more than 40 years, Gross McGinley, LLP, has been committed to providing forward-thinking client-centered legal representation to clients in Pennsylvania. To learn whether mediation or arbitration could be right for you, contact us online or call us at 610-820-5450 to schedule a consultation with an experienced civil litigation attorney today. We provide a wide range of legal services, including family law, business law, litigation, estate planning, business and employment law, real estate, and more.

The content found in this resource is for informational reference use only and is not considered legal advice. Laws at all levels of government change frequently and the information found here may be or become outdated. It is recommended to consult your attorney for the most up-to-date information regarding current laws and legal matters.