Real Estate Mediation Center

The Benefits of Mediation Over Litigation

The Benefits of Mediation Over Litigation



1.    Mediation Saves Money:

Litigation can quickly get expensive. Most attorneys in Southern California charge between $250 and $350 per hour.  It’s not uncommon for parties to spend $30,000 – $50,000, each to litigate a case.

If you would rather save your money than spend it on attorney’s fees, deposition costs, filing fees and court costs, then you should definitely consider mediation as an alternative to litigation.  Mediation can be significantly cheaper than litigation because the costs are shared, there is less back-and-forth through attorneys, less fighting, and no time spent waiting in Court.

2.    Mediation Saves Time:

Litigation is often a lengthy process lasting upwards of several years.

California’s budget cuts have resulted in decreased number of Courtroom staff, clerks, personnel, etc.  This coupled with the large number of parties who opt for Court intervention has resulted in lengthy delays in litigation.  For example, when a party files a request with the Court, they often get a court date that is several months out.  When your court date does finally arrive, the Court may not have time to hear you because of their enormous case load that day.  So you are now the lucky person who went to court and waited around all day to be heard, only to be told to come back another day.  At this point, you have needlessly taken a day off work and rearranged your entire carpool schedule.  If you add an attorney to the mix, you are looking at one expensive waiting day.

If your goal is a speedy resolution to your case, you should consider mediation.  In mediation, after the parties have entered into an agreement, the mediator can prepare the documents for you.  Once the parties have signed the documents, the mediator can submit the documents to Court for the Court’s signature.  Obtaining a Court’s signature on an agreement is often much quicker than litigating the case at Court.  Once your documents have been approved by the Court, the case is done.

3.    Mediation Is Often Less Stressful than Litigation:

In mediation, the mediator will hear both sides of the argument and help the parties craft an outcome that has benefits for both sides.  In other words, the parties have a choice in the outcome of their case.  Litigation, on the other hand, does not provide the parties with control or choice.  Rather, the Court will hear the arguments and make a ruling on that issue.  The parties are pretty much stuck with that ruling.

Relinquishing the decision making power of your life to a Court is unnerving and stressful.  Moreover, it has been my experience that when parties resolve the dispute between themselves, the resolution is much easier to live with than if it was handed down by a third-party.

4.    Maintain Your Business Relationships

It is extremely important to keep your relationship amicable after the dispute is settled.  Litigating (i.e., duking it out in Court) does not help foster an amicable relationship between parties.  Parties that go through litigation often end up feeling anger, betrayal, and resentment towards the other side. These negative feelings will not only affect you, but they can affect your persona and reputation in the business community.  Protect yourself by finding an amicable solution.