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 opposing party.

  • 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 diverse remedies.

  • 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 arbitration.

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!



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