Resolve Disputes the Easy Way

Now we can do this the easy way or we can do it the hard way. No, I am not selling a new financial product and I do not hold your arm up your back, nor a gun in your ribs. My message is " Don't litigate - mediate!" That is the message from Andrew Taylor, a full time commercial mediator who is dedicated to increasing the knowledge and understanding of mediation in business. He goes on, "Compared to litigation, mediation is faster, cheaper and more civilized. It avoids the risk of damaging publicity and it offers scope for imaginative solutions." In fact, Andrew Taylor is so enthusiastic, he has even written a book about it! Everyone knows what mediation is, yet few people are really confident about how much they know, how it works, and whether they can use it. Mediation is a process in which a third person, "the mediator", helps the parties in dispute to find a mutually satisfactory outcome. You could say there is nothing exciting there. Mediation must have been used long before any court system was invented. Despite that, we tend to overlook mediation as a possibility for settling disputes between employer and employee, business and business. These are characteristic advantages of mediation over litigation: Speed - A dispute can be resolved by mediation in a matter of weeks rather than the years it might take in court. If the case is particularly urgent and the parties are prepared to pay for priority and premium time, there is no reason why a commercial case could not be concluded in a fortnight. The usual time scale for a small commercial case is around six weeks, and for a more complicated commercial case, around six months. The same case might take five years to go through the court system. Cost - In most cases, the saving over comparable litigation costs is very large. Because litigation is expensive. It is obviously advantageous to settle a dispute before litigating. The Civil Procedure Rules encourage solicitors to do this. How far you use your solicitors is up to you, but however you deal with it, a case over in weeks will cost a lot less than one that drifts on for years. Of course the Court system takes no account of the value of your time as a litigant. If you are a senior manager involved for say 1,000 hours over a period of three years, your lost time may have been worth