What are the benefits of a mediation?
If at any time any one of the parties, or the mediator, feels that further negotiation would be a waste of time or that more information is needed before the mediation can continue, they can either terminate the mediation or adjourn for a later meeting.
Each party is equally welcome to bring an attorney to the mediation and/or to have an attorney review any mediation agreement that results from the mediation.
Neither the mediator nor any party can be called to testify about what happened or was said during the mediation. Also, either party can disclose information to the mediator that they do not want disclosed to the other party.
The parties are in control of the outcome of a mediation, and any agreement that results from a mediation must be mutual between the parties. The mediator does not impose any type of agreement on the parties like a judge or jury would do in traditional litigation.
Parties in a mediation are much more likely to comply with the terms of a mediated agreement, because a mediation settlement is an agreement between the parties, whereas a court judgment is imposed by a judge.
The rules to a mediation, or any alternative dispute resolution process, can be tailored by the parties, unlike the rules of court, which are set by state rules and laws.
When used early in a dispute a mediation can prevent almost all the normal costs associated with litigation. Even when used comparatively late in a dispute mediation is still able to save many of the further costs that both parties would pay as part of the traditional court process.
Mediation is referred to as an "alternative" dispute resolution process, since it is an alternative to the traditional court litigation process. As a part of the traditional court process, parties argue from opposite sides for a judge or jury, hoping that the one with the better argument wins his or her case. Mediation is different because the parties may start from opposite sides of a disagreement, but with the help of a mediator, both parties can come to a mutually acceptable agreement.