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Commercial mediation is a process of resolving disputes where a neutral and autonomous third party helps both sides come to an understanding that is beneficial to both of them.
Mediation is done as an alternative to regular court proceedings which are thought to be time-consuming, expensive and disruptive. The mediator is selected by both parties, and their function is to speed up and add quality to the decision-making process. The mediator can look at the problem in more than legal terms leading to a more appropriate decision.
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The Mediation Agreement regulates each party’s conduct throughout the process. There is often a joint, opening meeting where representatives of both parties are present. The above meeting is optional and may not occur if the parties are too far apart.
The mediator then holds separate meetings with each party. In this stage, the mediator takes a deep look into each party’s case and explores the nature of each party’s argument. The mediator may be allowed access to information that would have otherwise remained hidden although it would have helped resolve the dispute.
Negotiations then occur with the mediator actively probing both parties to find some middle ground. Negotiations will continue until a party decides to withdraw from negotiations, if a settlement is reached or until the mediator determines that the deadlock cannot be broken. If a settlement is reached, a Settlement Agreement is prepared and signed in a final joint session.
Businesses would save a lot of time if they chose mediation over litigation. Use of a mediator is a quick alternative to court proceedings which can drag on for years. Another key benefit of using mediation is the confidential nature of the entire process. Any information that either party would like to remain private is not revealed, and the outcome can be kept secret too.
Flexibility is a vital characteristic of mediation. Litigation tends to produce a winner and a loser. Mediation will make both parties winners by coming to a mutually beneficial solution. The mediation process is also so likely to be successful since a solution can be based on a wider scope of information. Court proceedings will view the problem solely from a legal perspective.