Litigation FAQs

The Pros and Cons of Mediation

The Pros and Cons of Mediation

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. The term "mediation" means that you and the other party meet with a mediator (a neutral third party), who helps all of you find at a solution to your dispute. Mediation is mandatory in some states and optional in others. The concept behind mediation is that before a case goes to trial, the parties have an opportunity to negotiate their own settlement terms and conditions.


  • A mediator helps both sides in a dispute evaluate their positions and goals, and negotiate a solution acceptable to everyone.

  • A mediator does not take sides or make decisions.

  • If you reach an agreement with an opposing party through mediation, you can make it legally binding by entering into a settlement agreement (an enforceable contract).

  • Most civil disputes can be mediated, including those involving contracts, leases, and small business ownership.

  • Businesses and individuals who have begun a lawsuit can try mediation at any point during the lawsuit.

  • A mediator can't impose a resolution of the dispute on the parties-you always have the right to say "no."

  • Mediators have experience in bringing reluctant parties to the bargaining table.

  • Mediation is an "informal" proceeding, and much less stressful than spending the day in the courtroom.


  • Because the mediator has no power to impose a resolution of the dispute on the parties, the parties must be willing to compromise.

  • Mediation costs money, and an unsuccessful mediation will result in additional costs of litigation. Costs are usually split between the parties.

  • Mediation takes time, usually anywhere from a couple of hours to a full day.

Copyright © 1994-2006 FindLaw, a Thomson business

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

Back to Main
View Previous Months' Selections

Aggressively Pursuing Your Claim and
Zealously Protecting Your Legal Interests Since 1981

Our business law attorneys at Roberts & Elliott represent clients throughout California's South Bay area and Silicon Valley, including the cities of San Jose, Santa Clara, Campbell, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Milpitas, Palo Alto, Pleasanton, Livermore, and Hollister. Our experienced commercial litigation lawyers also represent individuals and businesses throughout the following California counties: Contra Costa County, Alameda County, San Benito County, Santa Cruz County, and Santa Clara County. Whether you need a San Jose business law attorney, or a California trial lawyer to handle an employment claim or breach of contract action, we can help.

The statements, testimonials, or endorsements set forth in this site to not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regrading the outcome of your legal matter.