Mediation is a great first approach to stalled negotiations, business, family, governmental and academic disputes. Litigation (Court) is typically thought to be more expensive in terms of time, money, and stress. Many view litigation as the most costly (stress, money, time) approach to dispute resolution. On 12 February 2021, Sriram Panchu, Senior Advocate, Mediator, and Arbitrator of the India High Court, revealed that the concept of pre-institution mediation, requiring disputing parties to attempt mediation before they file for litigation is being worked into India’s next statute on mediation. It is worth noting the India 1996 Arbitration and Conciliation Act clearly states the engagement rules for private mediation and court-annexed (ordered) mediation. The United States lacks one clear national legal code outlining mediation. It has been signed but is yet to be ratified by the Senate. States are like islands in that they each have their own Mediation statutes. On 13 February 2021, in his Evolution of a Mediator series, part 1, hosted by Vickram Singh, Panchu related that parties select their own private mediators. If they are unable to do so then the court will assign mediators. The intent is to require parties to try mediation before they can enter the courts. The US does not have this requirement. Yet. So what? Americans are free to enter into private mediation. The legal system thought leaders strongly recommend that people solve their conflicts out of the court whenever possible.
IN A BAD WAY
ON THE WAY
“An ounce of mediation is worth a pound of arbitration and a ton of litigation!”
The Kentucky Court of Justice says Mediation is appropriate: personal injury, real estate, employment, family and divorce, contract, construction, probate, juvenile offenses, felony offenses, misdemeanor complaints, and medical malpractice.
Tennessee Administrative Office of the Court: The mediator is not a judge and does not make a decision or impose a solution on the dispute. Rather, the mediator helps those involved in the dispute talk to each other, thereby allowing them to resolve the dispute themselves. The mediator manages the mediation session and remains impartial. Benefits include:
“The courts of this country should not be the places where the resolution of disputes begins. They should be the places where the disputes end after alternative methods of resolving disputes have been considered and tried.” -Sandra Day O’Connor, United States Supreme Court