The Closer

A Mediation Newsletter May 2009

Cost Effectiveness of Mediation
by James Rainwater

With the change in economic climate, many clients are looking to keep their attorneys' bills from expanding too much. With the prospect of litigation, clients can agonize over the prospect of prolonged cases and additional legal fees. After all, going to trial is never is an inexpensive effort. As such, your clients may now be more amenable to mediation than, perhaps, they would have been in years past.

Beside the intrinsic benefits of mediation as a reduced conflict approach, mediation can also allow your clients to receive a faster resolution in a potentially far less costly manner. And the benefit isn't just for the clients. Attorneys who work cases on a flat fee structure may gain from mediation as well. Considering court costs, preparation time, time in trial, etc., mediation may be just the answer to a busy attorney's caseload.

I can tell you this from my experience: Cases that have begun contentiously and appeared to the parties as never being capable of resolution have been settled in mediation, much to the pleasant surprise of all involved. Even in cases where a party has begrudgingly gone to mediation due to a judge's mandate, I have seen mini-miracles of sorts. When real resolution to a matter can be just minutes away, many clients will take a self-reflective analysis of their situation and choose to settle and avoid more time-delayed frustration and uncertainty.

In the end, mediation is not only cost-effective, it is also time-effective. Most people do not enjoy having their lives put on hold for an unknown length of time, let alone enduring the confrontation and anxiety of litigation. Mediation can help your client obtain closure, assist you with disposing of a lingering case, and move you onto the next matter.

Rainwater Law