Mediation vs Litigation
Mediation refers to the process by which parties in dispute utilise the services of an independent third-party, the mediator, to assist them in obtaining a mutually satisfactory outcome; one that they are able to live with.
The key difference between mediation and litigation is that the mediator does not force or decide the outcome for the parties. Another important distinction is that costs are generally minimised with mediation and the parties retain control of the outcome themselves.
With litigation, the parties ask a particular court or tribunal to determine their dispute(s) and in many cases one party will win and the other lose. The purpose of mediation is to assist the parties to reach an outcome that is “within the range” they could expect if they were to go to Court and to enable them to retain control of the outcome itself.
The goal of mediation is to assist the parties reach a “win-win” outcome.
The mediator’s role is to assist the parties in reaching such an outcome by promoting (appropriate) dialogue between the parties, assisting their focus on the actual issues in dispute and ensuring fairness of the process while enabling the parties to generate mutually acceptable outcomes / options such that they take control of their dispute and reach a mutually acceptable outcome.
Mediation is, however, not appropriate in all circumstances and this is something that your particular mediator can discuss with you further.