When to Mediate?

When is the right time to mediate?  There is no “one size fits all” answer.  It depends upon the interests of the parties and when the parties believe they have sufficient information to be able to make a decision as to what is in their best interests.

In certain business or employment disputes it may be appropriate to mediate prior to a lawsuit being filed, or soon after one is.  The same may be true for tort cases involving clear, or highly likely, liability and where the damages can be readily evaluated.

In more complex cases, a voluntary mediation is most likely to be successful if done after there has been sufficient discovery which enables the parties to realistically assess their strengths, weaknesses and the risk of going to trial.  

It is increasingly likely that mediation will be court ordered as many judges have come to believe it is in the best interests of the litigants.  Judges also believe it will relieve the court from unnecessarily spending time on a case which is likely to be settled once a trial date draws near.  When the court orders mediation it typically establishes a time frame in which it must be completed.

In summary, there is not any one time for participating in mediation that is appropriate for every case.  It will vary depending upon the circumstances.  Most mediations, however, occur when enough discovery has been completed so that the parties are able to sufficiently assess their case.

More Information CLE Offerings

Chadwick Mediation & Arbitration, LLC
1450 Greene Street
Augusta, GA 30901
Phone: 706-823-4250
Fax: 706-828-4459

Chadwick Mediation Services
Our Mission: To provide an impartial, constructive and forward-thinking means for resolving disputes with integrity and the preservation of dignity for all involved.