Mediation is an effective means of dispute resolution for any dispute not requiring a judicial or a third party determination. It provides a forum and atmosphere in which parties gain understanding, become understood, and work together to explore options for resolution. By resolving disputes in mediation, parties determine for themselves what is important and what the outcome of a situation will be. While the benefits of mediation vary somewhat depending upon the nature of the dispute, and model of mediation applied, the following are some of the benefits typically associated with mediation:
In hearing and being heard in the mediation forum, parties gain the understanding of the other parties’ point of view, and an enhanced opportunity to be heard and understood themselves.
Parties are empowered to decide for themselves whether and how they would like to resolve a situation. This self-determination aspect of mediation often corresponds to higher aspirations of how individuals and businesses generally want to conduct their lives and do business.
In resolving or narrowing disputes through mediation, parties avoid the delay of a third party or judicially decided outcome.
In resolving or narrowing areas of disputes through mediation, parties save an enormous amount of time, energy, and expense associated with protracted conflict and litigation.
QUALITY OF SETTLEMENT
Studies indicate parties entering into voluntary agreements through mediation are far more likely to adhere to, and fulfill commitments made in such agreements, than they are with judicially imposed resolutions.
AVOID BAD OUTCOMES
Through mediation, parties avoid both the “win-lose” and “lose-lose” outcomes associated with litigation.
Many parties who “win” in protracted litigation often find the overall time, energy and monetary commitment associated with litigation comes at an enormous cost and loss. Those who lose in litigation surely feel even worse about such an outcome. Mediation can save parties from all of this, and enable them to move forward from disputes efficiently and effectively.
The foregoing are just some of the compelling reasons to mediate disputes. Moreover, there is seldom any serious downside to mediation. While some may hesitate “to put their cards on the table” in mediation, in this era of discovery-driven litigation, the old “trial by ambush” days of civil litigation are increasingly becoming a thing of the past. Mediation works not only because it focuses on the parties’ own interests and agendas, but because it provides the opportunity for parties to move beyond disputes efficiently and chart their own future.
Reprinted by permission and all copyrights reserved exactly as indicated in the original version. Lawrence A. Huerta is a lawyer and credentialed mediator in downtown San Diego, specializing in business, employment, insurance, real estate, and securities litigation and mediation.
You have an unresolved dispute, and you haven’t been able to resolve the situation by talking to your agent or the broker… You need to take the next step. You don’t know where to begin. The contract you signed may have a MEDIATION CLAUSE.
Who do You Call? Where do You Go?
The North San Diego County Association of REALTORS®.
The Association has a Mediation program available. Our Mediators are highly trained and experienced. All of them are licensed real estate professionals.
Most cases can be successfully mediated if all parties are willing to make a good faith effort to resolve the dispute. Mediation should be considered by all litigants and attorneys who have an interest in prompt, cost efficient settlement. Our rates are competitive. If your application for mediation is accepted, the mediation will be conducted locally at our Administration Office.
- Under $5,000 in dispute – $250 per party
- $5,000 – $25,000 in dispute – $300 per party
- $25,000-$50,000 in dispute – $500 per party
- $50,000-$100,000 in dispute – $600 per party
- Over $100,000 – subject to assessment by Mediation personnel.
Fees are waived for members of the North San Diego County Association of REALTORS® if they are not a principal in the matter. However, if a REALTOR® member is the principal (Buyer/Seller) in the matter, there is a processing fee of $100.00. If Mediation is unsuccessful this processing fee will be credited towards the Arbitration processing fee for Member of the Public vs. REALTOR® and REALTOR® vs. REALTOR® Arbitrations only.
Above fees are split between Association and Mediators.
Any mediation over four hours is charged at $75 per hour, per party, with 100% of the hourly fee to the Mediators.
Association reserves the right to adjust fees or reject mediations depending on complexity of issues.