Why Should You Engage In Mediation Or Alternative Dispute Resolution Services?
As a lawyer, mediator and judge, Josefina Rendon has experienced mediation from just about every angle. Her first experience with mediation was many years ago as a judge when, at the request of one of the attorneys, she referred a case in her court’s docket to mediation. When the parties came back to court, they had reached a creative, custom-made agreement that both sides were satisfied with and that resolved, not only their legal dispute, but their personal issues. Rendon realized that, with the help of a mediator, mediation offered the parties better opportunities for satisfactory resolution that would not have been possible had they continued with a trial. From then on, she referred many cases to mediation with great results and, soon enough, decided to become a mediator herself.
So why mediation?
Many people want their “day in court.” They want to be heard by the judge or the jury thinking that the judge or jury will decide in their favor. But, in court, the parties are bound by strict rules of evidence and procedure that often prevent a person from having their say in court. In mediation, the parties have a greater opportunity to be heard.
In court there is usually a winner and a loser. Many people mistakenly think the judge or jury will decide in their favor. But such decisions are often significantly different than what the parties expected. In mediation, the parties have much more control over the outcome of their case. Mediation also helps them reach resolution in ways that are quicker, much less expensive, less formal and much less unpleasant than going to court.
Unlike court, no one will impose a decision on the parties and each party is free to accept or not the proposals offered by the other side. Studies also have shown that, if the parties reach an agreement at mediation, they tend to honor and comply with it more often than they would if ordered by the court.
Texas Law describes Mediation as “a forum in which an impartial person, the mediator, facilitates communication between parties to promote reconciliation, settlement, or understanding among them. A mediator may not impose his/her own judgment on the issues for that of the parties. The word mediation comes from the word "middle" because there is a person in the middle, the mediator who will help the parties reach a mutually satisfactory agreement.