Mediation is a process in which an impartial and independent third party facilitates communication and negotiation between parties to a dispute. It promotes voluntary decision making and mutual acceptance in an arena that is geared towards resolution without conflict. MW Keller & Son LLP recently completed a mediation regarding a dispute between a client and a builder in relation to unfinished works and allegations of unsatisfactory works. This type of case could have cost anything up to €100,000 if it went to court. Fortunately, the parties, having been made aware of the benefits of mediation opted for it. They were made aware by the mediator of the potential cost of going to court and the possibility of coming out of court with an unsatisfactory decision.
This was a very satisfactory result for both parties. Furthermore, it was an immediate result rather than having to worry and wait for a court to deal with such a matter.
They were prepared to discuss each issue with a view to arriving at a resolution and an agreement was entered into to rectify issues and to complete the construction, which was to be approved by an independent architect. This was a very satisfactory result for both parties. Furthermore, it was an immediate result rather than having to worry and wait for a court to deal with such a matter. Many are of the opinion that a Court is unsuitable to resolve numerous types of dispute that are more appropriately dealt with in mediation.
Mediation is a voluntary process
Although Mediation is voluntary, it must be considered before Litigation proceedings are issued as well as in Family Law matters. Mediation is a voluntary process whereby parties in conflict work together to resolve a dispute with the assistance of a trained Mediator. Mediation involves the input of both parties and helps both sides to identify the fundamental issues in a dispute and to arrive at an effective solution. In general, costs tend to be lower in Mediation and parties share the costs of one Mediator. Mediation is generally a faster method to resolve disputes and can take place once the parties are ready. There are no significant delays which routinely happen in Litigation matters. All aspects of Mediation are confidential and remain known only to the parties and the Mediator. The Mediator will only be obliged to disclose details of a Mediation in very limited circumstances where child protection circumstances arise or where threatened or actual criminal acts have been determined. Mediation is a flexible process. There is no set form to Mediation itself and various outcomes can be explored by the parties.
The right to withdraw from Mediation
Either party withdraw from Mediation at any time and you can have legal representation with you or receive independent legal advice during the Mediation. If Mediation does not resolve the dispute, then the option of Litigation is still available to you. Mediation can be used for most types of disputes but may not be suitable where an issue of safety arises. During the course of the Mediation, the two parties will determine if a settlement can be reached between them and whether the settlement is enforceable between them.
In this case, a Mediation Agreement is usually prepared by the Mediator which sets out the nature and terms of the agreement that has been reached by the parties. In general, this would have the effect of a contract between the parties. If having considered Mediation, you decide to proceed with Litigation, we will be obliged to prepare for the Courts a Statutory Declaration confirming that we have explained the Mediation process and benefits of Mediation to you as outlined herein. Court proceedings will be delayed if this is not provided by us. At Litigation stage, Courts can also now invite you to consider Mediation as an alternative means to resolve the dispute and may penalise you on costs if it is felt that your failure to consider or attend Mediation was unreasonable. We can provide you with the names and the details of people providing Mediation services.
Should you require these details or any other information about the Mediation process, please do not hesitate to contact us.