By: Paul R. Kfoury Sr.
Litigation can be an expensive and lengthy process, and as courts in New Hampshire and across the country face crowded schedules mediation has become one of the preferred forms of alternative dispute resolution.
Mediation, conducted by a professional mediator is often a cost effective solution for many disputes, including business, probate, real estate or even a personal injury claim. Both sides pay the mediator, which can cost significantly less than taking a case through the court system. Professional mediators have the expertise and experience to evaluate cases, and the skills to facilitate negotiations between the parties and develop creative solutions.
The average civil litigation matter can take one to two years or more, while mediation generally is held two to four months after notice of the claim, and four to six months after the lawsuit has begun. Disputes can then often be resolved within hours.
And the cost of mediation is significantly less. Mediation before going to court generally ranges from $2,000 to $4,000, instead of what could be upwards of tens of thousands of dollars if a case goes to trial.
In some cases, mediation is required before filing suit including, but not limited to:
• Business to Business
• Business to Consumer
• Commercial and Residential Construction
• Employment Policies
• Residential real estate
Mediation gives the parties the ability to control the terms of settlement, and it can also help preserve relationships. It maintains confidentiality at all times and certainly is more satisfying to the parties precisely because it is far less costly and time-consuming than litigation. Mediation allows the parties to achieve finality much earlier in the process, and as many times as I have received a thank you from the parties in achieving settlement resulting from mediation, the most common compliment is always, “Thank you very much. It is good to have this over.”