Resolving your legal dispute at trial sends a powerful signal. It shows that a neutral court examined your case and came to a conclusion. If the court sided with you, it shows that the judicial system accepted your argument and rejected that of the other side. The court decides upon a way to resolve the dispute, and that decision has the force of law.
But there are also a lot of downsides to going to trial. It takes a long time. It can be very expensive. It’s all a matter of public record. And the ultimate resolution is largely out of your control.
For these and other reasons, most disputes today are resolved out of court. Often, the parties settle their dispute themselves through negotiation. They then write up a contract, and this contract becomes legally binding.
How mediation helps negotiation
Negotiation has many advantages when compared to going to trial, but that doesn’t mean that negotiation is easy. Sometimes the other side won’t budge from a position that your side finds unacceptable. The adversarial nature of our justice system tends to reward intransigent behavior.
Mediation can help smooth the way in negotiation.
The mediator is a neutral third party who facilitates the discussion between opposing sides in a dispute, with the goal of helping them reach an agreement. Mediators may be appointed by a court or the Nevada Division of Insurance, or they may be chosen by the parties.
Generally, the mediation itself is non-binding. The goal is for the parties to reach an agreement, which will become a binding contract.
Of course, mediation doesn’t work in every situation. Even with a mediator helping the discussion, sometimes one party still refuses to budge. This is why it can be important for attorneys to be ready for trial as well as negotiation and mediation.