MEDIATION is a dispute resolution technique in which the
disputing parties voluntarily attempt to reach an agreeable
resolution of their dispute with the assistance of an impartial
third person called "mediator."
Mediator Daniel P. Ben-Zvi -- tapping
extensive multi-state experience as Mediator and trial lawyer --
succeeds in guiding the parties to a final resolution [usually
within 1 day!] in the far majority of cases. The mediator has no
authority to impose a decision.
Mediation is more effective than direct negotiations between the
parties. Disputants have successfully used mediation to resolve a
wide variety of disputes faster and less expensively than the more
traditional alternatives of litigation and arbitration.
Advantages of Mediation
Absolute Control. Unlike arbitration, court
of jury trial, where a third party decides, in mediation, the
party decides whether to settle and on what terms.
Privacy and Confidentiality. Unlike
arbitration, court of jury trial, the mediator can use information
in directing the negotiations without disclosing it to the
Voluntary and Non-Binding Nature. Nothing
will be decided unless the parties agree to it and any party is
free to leave at any time. This greatly reduces the tension of all
parties, increases the likelihood that a resolution will be
reached and avoids damaged business relations.
Low Risk. If mediation fails to bring about
a resolution to the dispute, other more time-intensive resolutions
processes can be used.
Greater Informality and Flexibility. The
disputants and the mediator control and design the process. This
results in greater client participation and often unique and
Lower Cost as compared to arbitration or
litigation. The process is less formal, court reporters are never
used and expert witness presentations, if used at all, are
normally greatly shortened.
Speed. Most mediations conclude with a
signed agreement within one day. They can also be scheduled
quickly at any point, before or after the filing of a law suit or
One of the hallmarks of mediation is its confidential nature.
Parties are often unwilling to disclose confidential information
about their view of the case to the opposing party during direct
negotiation. The parties also may be reluctant to disclose their
true "bottom-line" settlement position, or to disclose special
concerns to the opposing party. A mediator bridges this
communication roadblock to settlement. The mediator may be told
these things in confidence, and he can use them in directing the
negotiations without disclosing them to the opposing party.
The voluntary, confidential, and inexpensive characteristics of
mediation make it almost risk-free. If mediation fails to bring
about a resolution to the dispute, the parties can still submit
the dispute to any other dispute resolution process, including
arbitration or trial.
Other hallmarks of mediation are its informality and flexibility.
This informality allows the disputants and the mediator to control
and design the process. Mediation results in cost savings too.
Court reporters are never necessary and expert witness
presentations, if used at all, are normally greatly shortened.
Although some "discovery" or an exchange of documents may be done
before a mediation, it is not as extensive as the discovery
generally done before trial or before arbitration.
Mediation is fast and far less adversarial than litigation or
arbitration, and generally preserves rather than destroys business
relations. And unlike court or arbitration, in mediation the final
settlement agreement can provide for unique, imaginative and
diverse business solutions.
Litigation is uncertain, expensive, and can take an enormous
emotional, physical and financial toll. A mediation that guides
the parties to agree to a final resolution ends the stress of
litigation, fear of the unknown, billings, time away from
productive work, time-consuming discovery, depositions, motions,
hearings, trials, and appeals.
Client satisfaction after mediation is extremely favorable in more
than 90% of the cases mediated with Daniel Ben-Zvi. Every
dispute should be mediated before arbitration or trial!