If you already have a case that is being heard in the County Court, it is highly likely that the time frame in which it will take to get it to a final hearing will be extended as the court staff and judges try to cope with remote working. If you have a case that is already being heard in the County Court, click here.
It is already a stressful experience to deal with court cases; you don’t need the added anxiety of lockdown or the possibility that your “day in court” will be handled via a telephone conferencing hearing or Skype. You also don’t need the possibility that your case will be delayed for months with no end in sight.
People are resorting to the use of mediation at a higher rate than at any other time in recent history. The process of settling an estate may involve Business Mediation, Corporate Mediation, or family Mediation. The goal of all of these types of mediation is to bring a case to an agreed resolution considerably cheaply and faster, which makes a great deal of sense for everyone involved. It makes no difference whether you are initiating or defending a claim; all that is required is for both sides to be prepared to try Mediation to see if an agreement can be reached via it.
What exactly is the process of mediation?
In the process of mediation, a neutral third party who has been nominated by both parties attempts to achieve an agreement on how both parties can bring an end to the legal dispute. The choices are entirely made by the parties themselves with the aid of the Mediator, which means that you have complete control over what is agreed upon and what is not agreed upon. The Mediator is not permitted to render legal advice and is not in charge of making any decisions whatsoever.
The judge makes the final judgement in the court process, and even if neither side is very satisfied with the outcome, they are required to abide by the ruling since it is binding on them.
Is it preferable to go to mediation rather than court?
When compared to going to court, the cost of mediating a dispute is far lower. Before the lockdown, mediation would take place in an agreed venue (not a court), with each party in separate rooms, and the Mediator would shuttle between you to assist you reach a solution that is acceptable to both of you. Mediation has been around for a long time.
In the event that an agreement is made, it will be documented on the spot, signed by representatives from both camps, and then sent to the court to be filed away. It will have the same power as any other Court Order, and as long as the agreed-upon requirements are then followed out, it will bring an end to the formal matter that was brought before the court.
Mediation, but still no consensus?
In the event that the mediation process does not result in an agreement, the court case will proceed in the typical manner; however, nothing that was stated during the mediation process can be referred to in that court case.
What are some of the benefits of using mediation?
LISTEN: A neutral third party, known as the mediator, will pay close attention to the topics being discussed. During the course of a lawsuit, it is not uncommon for the true concerns to be obscured by the legal nuances, the debates between the attorneys, and the procedural entanglements that arise. During the process of mediation, an experienced mediator will listen to each party discuss the problems they are experiencing and will then assist them in finding a solution that will satisfy both sides.
COST: The expense of the mediation itself is far lower than the cost of preparing a case for trial. This includes the cost of the attorney’s time to prepare as well as the fees charged by the mediator. Even if the mediation is not scheduled until after the completion of discovery, which is a time period during which significant costs have been paid, it is still far less expensive to prepare for and participate in mediation than it is to go to trial. It seems to reason that the mediation should take place as soon in the process as possible.
The parties now have a huge increase in the amount of options available to them. In contrast to the judicial system, the parties themselves decide who will act as the mediator. In a similar vein, although the judicial system is highly regimented and governed by a number of regulations, the parties involved in mediation have the ability to determine how the process will go. In some circumstances, it will be in everyone’s best interest to keep the parties apart for at least the majority of the session, if not the entirety of it. In other instances, the mediator will promote conversation between the parties in a one-on-one setting. In addition, mediators will occasionally utilise a strategy known as facilitation, which involves moving the parties toward a consensus by concentrating on the needs of the parties rather than the legal concerns that are at play in the case. They will occasionally utilise an evaluative approach, in which they will speculate on the possible outcomes of the factual and legal issues if the case were to be tested in court. Various circumstances call for a variety of approaches. During the mediation process, the parties decide on the approach that they believe would be most beneficial to their case.
The mediation process is entirely optional. There is no one who can compel the parties to agree to the terms of the agreement. The mediator is not authorised to issue any judgements or decisions of any kind. It is up to the parties to construct a settlement that would work best for them, regardless of whether or not that resolution would otherwise be accessible to them in court. The ability to think creatively about the conclusion is highly prized, and the settlement is only accomplished if all sides believe it will be successful.
EFFICIENT AND WITHOUT RISK: A trial of a legal disagreement, followed by an appeal, might take a very long time. Mediation, on the other hand, can be completed quite quickly. The parties will be able to rapidly put the issue in the past, relieving themselves of the worry, anxiety, and danger associated with going through the legal system, and will be able to do so with a solution that they have established that is agreeable.
Because of this, it is possible to have open conversations and make and modify offers without worrying that the information would be used against you in court at a later date.