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Here’s a cute photo of a beautiful horse and her foal. Now that’s drawn your attention to my post, I am sure that I will get more views of this post than any other, proving that people don’t like focusing on serious things such as litigation. People naturally want to think about the positive rather than the negative.

It seems to me that people will naturally avoid a difficult problem and try to ignore it, like the elephant in the room, rather than trying to resolve it.  Sometimes litigation can be a bit like this. The litigation goes on in the background while ordinary life carries on, with the occasional irritant of a letter email or hearing. It takes a mediation or trial to focus the mind.

There is also the rule of “possession is 9/10 of the law”. The person who is in the best financial position can sometimes afford to sit back and wait, David and Goliath style. They can have less of an incentive to resolve a problem and so the status quo continues.

Quite often in a mediation people will be shocked about the legal costs that have been incurred. This is because they have not been paying attention to such things as the litigation has crept on, or people are happy to pay to park a problem. People tend to compartmentalise their lives, with a space for work, family life and litigation/complaints rank low down the list of priorities. Alternatively, litigation can become an obsession, consuming a disproportionate amount of time and energy. In those cases, particularly when there is no lawyer advising a person, people can misinterpret the law and misjudge the strength of their claim or defence. An evaluative mediator can help in such a case by bringing a reality check to play in the process (whilst being careful not to give legal advice). They can help by drawing the attention to strengths and weaknesses and getting the parties to evaluate the risks of the litigation and to consider the best and worst case scenarios.

Sometimes it is a case of grasping the nettle, facing the fact of a dispute and agreeing to mediate to break the deadlock which leads to resolution. A good mediator can resolve in a day (or less) a dispute that would otherwise take years to get to Court, and vast expense.

 #mediation #mediator #adr #disputeresolution  #litigation #alternativedisputeresolution #mediators