Real estate transactions are a constant source of disputes as they involve significant investments and ever-changing market conditions.
For most people who find themselves in a conflict involving real estate, their biggest concern is reaching a settlement in the most efficient way possible. Often times, mediation is an excellent way to achieve this goal.
How mediation differs from litigation
Mediation and litigation are two separate and inherently different dispute resolution processes.
Mediation involves negotiations that are facilitated by a third-party neutral mediator outside of court. The mediator does not make decisions or take sides in the matter. Instead, the mediator helps the parties make rational decisions based on appropriate expectations.
Litigation, on the other hand, is a more traditional method of resolving a dispute and involves gathering evidence and presenting both sides of the argument in court to a judge, who issues the ultimate decision.
Mediation is often a preferred dispute resolution process for several reasons:
It is usually less expensive than litigation. Preparing for trial and trying a case in court can be very expensive because of court costs and attorney fees, which is why it is often in the parties' best interests to give mediation a try before deciding to go to trial.
It allows the parties to retain control over the outcome of their case. In litigation, the judge chooses which side wins and which sides loses. In mediation, the parties reach a settlement that is acceptable to both sides, which is often more sustainable going forward.
It fosters collaboration between the parties. Working as collaborators instead of as adversaries is especially helpful if the parties will remain in each other's lives, either personally or professionally.
It can lead to a quicker resolution than litigation. Instead of the case being at the mercy of the court's calendar and waiting for the judge to issue a decision, the parties are able to reach a settlement at their own pace and convenience.
Nothing is lost by mediating. Litigation remains an option if mediation fails. An experienced attorney will be working hard to reach an out-of-court settlement while also taking steps to prepare for trial, should it be necessary.
As you can see, there are many reasons why mediation has become an extremely important dispute resolution process in California and the rest of the United States. In fact, in many cases, judges will require parties to try mediation before a trial is set.
That's why it's wise to consult a real estate lawyer who understands and believes in the mediation process.
At Haven Law, our motto is: "strive for peace, prepare for war." We put every effort into helping our clients reach a favorable out-of-court settlement through mediation, while at the same time building a tough case, should a trial be necessary.