Mediation is becoming a viable option as an alternative to trial. This change was brought about by numerous factors, major ones being the expense and emotional toll that a trial takes on parties. Many forms of alternative dispute resolution are available to people, some of which are collaborative law, negotiation, and mediation.
Mediation has become very central to the Saskatchewan litigation process due to the mandatory mediation policies invoked by the Saskatchewan Government. Civil claims must proceed through mediation before a trial can be set. In addition, numerous legal practitioners are including mediation as part of their practice. This has made mediation easily accessible to interested parties.
There are various benefits that can be derived from mediation, which depend in large part on the claim and the parties involved. Some of these benefits are as follows:
- Mediation provides an opportunity for parties to converse, and to do so in a safe environment. This can be beneficial as claims can be partly driven by emotion. Sitting down and having a conversation can allow parties to put themselves in a position where settlement and negotiation are viable options;
- Mediation has the potential to create a collaborative environment where different resolutions can be discussed and the parties can find a solution that will meet their needs. There is an opportunity for creative thinking which cannot necessarily be found in a courtroom environment;
- Mediation can provide parties with control over the outcome. There are always risks in seeking to conclude a claim by way of trial, as the outcome is always uncertain to some extent and dictated by a third party.
Mediation may not be appropriate for all situations, but the pros and cons of participating in it are something that can be discussed with your legal practitioner.
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