Mark Baer Interviewed on KNX News Radio on the Benefits of Mediation

Posted By Mark Baer || 1-Aug-2015

At 8:20 a.m. on August 1, 2015, I was interviewed by Bob Brill on KNX News Radio. The topic was "Compared To A Lawsuit, Mediation Is Swift, Confidential, Solution Oriented, And Low Cost."

Apparently, people seem to think that lawsuits can typically be resolved within 6 months, which is far from accurate. Lawsuits tend to take several years to resolve and people can resolve their issues through mediation much faster.

One of the most important distinctions between mediation and litigation is that mediation is solution oriented. In mediation, we work to solve problems, rather than merely assessing blame and fault.

Certain types of cases must go before a judge because of the personalities of those involved in the dispute or the issues involved. For example, the same-sex marriage issue could not have been resolved through mediation.

Mr. Brill also asked me to compare mediation, arbitration and litigation.

Personally, I'm no fan of arbitration for a great many reasons. People can spin it all they want and when all is said and done, it is still an alternative form of litigation with all that comes along with that - it is JUDGING. In so doing a win/lose dynamic is created and often times it results in a lose/lose dynamic, especially when families are involved.

In any event, arbitration used to be very different from litigation, as was mediation. However, over time, lawyers have caused both arbitration and mediation to become increasingly similar to litigation.

Lawyers have increased the amount of discovery and other such things involved in arbitrating cases and thereby increased the time and cost of resolving matters through arbitration.

Attorneys have also essentially turned mediation into "soft arbitration" by involving "mediators" who are actually retired judges and having them tell the parties what they predict would occur in court and trying to get them to resolve the matter in accordance with that prediction without going to court.

Any guesses as to why? Might it be the gatekeepers' comfort level? People don't like to be changed and therefore try to change things such that they don't need to be changed.

If people want to resolve their matter through mediation, I suggest that they find the mediator first and then get a list of mediation-friendly attorneys from the mediator and not the other way around.