To Mediate or Not?
The key issue is whether a party is ready to seriously attempt a negotiated settlement. If a party is insisting on pre-conditions to a mediation or sees the mediation as an opportunity to “send a message” rather than an opportunity to resolve, then there may be little prospect that a successful resolution can be reached. However, once the parties are engaged in the process, even an apparently unwilling or reluctant participant may see the benefit of reaching a resolution.
There are very few types of disputes that cannot be mediated. An often cited example is judicial review where the issue is whether a public body or authority exceeded its powers. However, that does not mean that all judicial reviews are incapable of being resolved through mediation.
If one party or the Court proposes mediation, the other party is entitled to refuse to mediate or at least to state that they are not ready to mediate yet. Once mediation is proposed, there is no obligation to agree. However, a party who refuses to mediate should not take this decision lightly as this may have cost implications.
About the Author: Ken Strongman (www.kpstrongman.com) has years of experience and a growing national reputation as a mediator and arbitrator. He has successfully resolved more than a thousand disputes in the fields of construction defects, real estate, intellectual property, and employment. He is also a Mediator and Arbitrator for FINRA.
© 2020 Ken Strongman. All Rights Reserved. Please do not copy or repost without permission.