Groups Define Mediation in Different Ways
Wednesday, April, 20, 2011
Attempts to define mediation quickly run into the fact that various groups use the word to mean somewhat different things. What all definitions have in common is recognition that mediation is an alternative way to resolve disputes between two or more parties. These parties may be individuals, civic organizations, cities or counties, states, businesses, or any other entity with a vested interest in the case. A mediation attorney assists each party to state one side of the case and reaches an agreement with all opposing parties.
Beyond this simple definition, however, there is no complete consensus that defines what mediation is. This is because mediation does not have one single set of rules that all mediation attorneys follow. Procedures and practices may vary depending on the locale and firm.
Can Mediation be Defined by What it is Not?
It may be simplest to define mediation as a dispute resolution process. For example, commercial mediation, when used successfully, keeps the parties involved in the dispute out of court. This is a great advantage to them because cases resolved in court usually both cost far more and last far longer. A mediation agreement can provide a final solution to the argument between the parties, but this is not always true of a court judgment, since the losing party can usually find some grounds for appeal. Mediation seeks to satisfy both parties so that there is not a winner and a loser but rather, two satisfied parties.