The quarterly statistics for the justice system this week showed that it is taking longer to get to trial:
In April to June 2019, it took an average of 36.6 weeks between a small claim being issued and the claim going to trial, 2.7 weeks longer than in the same period in the previous year. A sustained period of increasing receipts has increased the time taken to hear civil cases and caused delays to progress cases.For multi/fast track claims, it took on average 59.1 weeks to reach a trial, 3 weeks longer than in April to June 2018 – this is near the upper limit of the long-term range (52-59 weeks). People are well advised to mediate or explore ADR before going to Court.
Mediation is a way of resolving disputes and disagreements through structured dialogue. The Mediator is an independent party who assists both sides to reach an agreement.
The Mediation process (which usually takes place over a half or one day, or by telephone or online) involves talking through the issues with each party and discussing possible solutions; each party has the opportunity to raise any concerns. By the end of the process the Mediator will help them reach a legally binding arrangement.
WHY NOT JUST GO TO COURT?
Mediation ensures you are in control of the decision making rather than handing that power to the court. It enables there to be a ‘win-win’ where both parties can settle on terms that are acceptable to them, rather than the ‘win or lose’ decision a Judge will make. There’s also flexibility for parties in the terms of any agreement (examples include period of time for making payments, or confidentiality of any agreement reached) rather than the standard terms a public judgement a court would reach.
IT IS FLEXIBLE- Take Back Control
You can choose where how and when the Mediation takes place and who attends. Whilst it is preferable for all relevant decision makers to be present, Mediation can even take place remotely via video or telephone conferencing.
IT ALLOWS YOU TO RETAIN OR REPAIR RELATIONSHIPS
Whether the dispute is with a business or a relative, Mediation allows discussions to take place in a way that can help build bridges, repair family relationships or retain goodwill of a customer or employee.
It can take place at any point in the dispute, whether court proceedings have been issued or not, and are nearly always resolved in a day. In contrast, from the start of a dispute, the court will rarely decide a case within a year and as set out above, the time taken is increasing.non-divorce litigation falls to be decided by the appropriate non family courts, unless resolved outside court, which usually means in mediation. Litigation can help force people to negotiate, compel disclosure of documents or information and can be a reality check. However, it is also complex, takes over year and sometimes two or more years and costs a lot. The outcome is uncontrollable, as there’s no telling how the evidence will turn out at trial. Changes in the court rules reflect a policy decision at the Ministry of Justice to try and make people mediate – so litigants are now often directed to try and resolve their disputes in mediation by the judge at interim hearings. Many disputes are not about the legal debate the lawyers engage in – they are about the relationship between two people who have fallen out and their different beliefs and frames of reference. In that context, the law is a blunt and often inappropriate weapon to help people come to agreement, with a limited repertoire of orders possible at trial. Also, the legal process can encourage people to take up extreme and hopeless positions in the hope of improving their negotiating chances – when really they need to be looking at ways to resolve things at an early stage, which is where mediation comes in. It’s never too early or too late to mediate. You can stop the runaway expense and gamble of litigation at any time. All it takes is an agreement to try mediation. Leave the rest to us.
Anything said during mediation is without prejudice (‘off the record’) and cannot be used against you or referred to at a later date. You can also agree that any agreement made is kept confidential so that no one else will become aware of any commercial decisions you may make.
IT’S LESS STRESSFUL
People do find litigation extremely stressful and a distraction from business. If you represent yourself it can be daunting. In a mediation, although legal representatives may attend, there is no cross examinations by barristers, swearing on oath in a witness box or having an opponent or judge scrutinise you. With Mediation you can decide what you want to discuss, who does the talking and even whether you are in the same room as each other.
IT HELPS SAVE TIME AND MONEY
A court case will require disclosure of any relevant documents (whether they help your case or not), witness statements from those involved and a trial. This can disrupt business and use up several working hours that could be spent maximising profits. With Mediation, matters can be resolved in one day or less.
Contact us if you are interested in hiring a mediator – firstname.lastname@example.org