Going to trial is not the only way to resolve a lawsuit. In fact, there is another solution that is a lot quicker and easier: civil mediation. Despite the benefits of this process, many litigants are unfamiliar with this option. Yet, once they learn of it, they often wonder how the process can benefit them. Learn why civil mediation may be the right path to a resolution of your legal matter.
A Quick Primer on Mediation
Mediation is part of a greater program known as Alternative Dispute Resolution. These programs, mediation and arbitration, provide an alternative to the normal course of a lawsuit. However, it intended to be a support system, not a total replacement of the legal process.
Utah's ADR program was formally created in 1994. A bill passed by the state legislature granted authority upon the judicial council to set up these programs. The courts introduced the first version of ADR in 1995. In the present day, judicial council Rule 4-510.05 now sets the procedure for the use of ADR in Utah courts.
When Can You Use Civil Mediation?
Not every case qualifies for mediation. ADR is generally available for civil lawsuits, such as those involving child custody, personal injury or business law. Nonetheless, in some scenarios it may be possible to send a criminal case to mediation. This usually occurs with minor offenses with issues like stalking or harassment. Some parties also opt for mediation when a lawsuit does not have a valid legal basis. In this situation, mediation gives the parties a chance to work out their dispute when there is no adequate remedy at law.
The Advantages of Participating in ADR
There are many benefits to participating in a mediation proceeding. For one, the process is more cost efficient than carrying out an entire lawsuit. The parties can avoid paying expensive court fees and large retainers for attorneys. Next, a case in mediation will end quicker. It's possible for the parties to resolve a matter in just a few hours. Mediation can also be confidential. This is a benefit you don't get with public court hearings.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of mediation is the opportunity for open communication. In a mediation meeting, the parties speak directly to one another. This is in stark contrast to court where communication has to go through an attorney. Sometimes, unfettered communication can help the parties to truly understand one another. If all goes well, the parties can decide on a resolution instead of a judge.
Mediation Can Be a Good Choice
Civil mediation is a good option for those that want to resolve their dispute in a simpler manner. It allows each side to discuss their issues in an open, neutral forum. The presence of a mediator also helps the parties flush out possible solutions to the dispute. In the end, a written agreement will solidify the compromise between the two parties.
If you need assistance in a mediation case in Utah, contact Spencer & Jensen PLLC for help. An experienced attorney is available to assist with all civil mediation or domestic mediation matters.