Mediation serves as an important part of the legal process, as it provides an opportunity for the parties to a civil litigation matter to reach a resolution on terms that they – not the courts or a jury – determine. As a Colorado mediators, we understand that mediation also offers a number of other important benefits:
- It usually results in substantial costs savings, as the fees and costs associated with a trial are avoided,
- It ends the litigation process, so that the individuals involved in the case can resume their lives and businesses,
- It allows each party to fully understand the position of the other party so that innovative solutions can be proposed, and
- Skilled mediators will often be able to help the parties move from positions of intransigency so that an acceptable resolution can be developed.
Facts About Mediation In Colorado
The Colorado Dispute Resolution Act (C.R.S. 13-22-301 et seq), provides that “Any court of record may, in its discretion, refer any case for mediation services or dispute resolution programs….” The courts in southwest Colorado refer almost all cases to mediation. In Colorado, civil lawsuits are settled prior to trial in more than 90% of the time. Mediation plays an important part in reaching these settlements.
In some cases, the first mediation will result in the parties reaching an acceptable settlement agreement; however, this is not always the case. Sometimes the result of a first mediation is the identification of key issues and positions that the parties need additional time to consider. The first mediation can prove useful in narrowing the scope of contested issues, so that the matter may be resolved in a subsequent mediation or through negotiation between the attorneys for the litigants.
What Should Parties Know About Mediation?
- The mediator is not a judge, the mediator is a facilitator. Clients should not go into a mediation with the expectation that if they can convince the mediator that they are right, the mediator will adopt their position and lean on the other party to “give in.”
- Mediation requires detailed preparation and hard work. We work with our clients in advance of a mediation to develop a comprehensive mediation strategy designed to achieve their goals and objectives to the extent possible. It is never a good idea to simply show up for a mediation being unprepared based on the belief that the other side will simply give in.
- Each party must carefully consider how far it is willing to give on its position to reach a settlement, and to balance a potential settlement against the ongoing legal fees and costs of litigation, the disruption to the person’s lives (and to the lives of employees and disruption to a business in the case of a business matter), and the uncertainty as to how the case will be resolved.
Find Out How We Represent Clients in Mediation
We are experienced with the mediation process, as well as the processes typically used by mediators to reach resolution.
Every mediation will be different; therefore the strategy that we develop will be based upon the particular facts and circumstances of the case and the parties involved. Not only do we need to consider the legal position of our clients, but we also must carefully consider the legal position and circumstances of the opposing parties so that we can develop an optimal strategy for our clients.