If you’re at a point of considering third-party help, you owe it to yourself to know *about* your options. Litigation is certainly one valid option, but do you understand its implications? How about in contrast with another option?
Here’s a brief overview that compares litigation with mediation.
— Has a past-tense focus. on determining the facts underlying a dispute and then applying the law to those facts to determine whether the law has been violated or not. The focus on the facts of what happened and whether they were legally compliant or not makes litigation inherently about the past.
—- Is narrow. It sifts through and evaluates only those facts that are necessary for the analysis and application of the relevant law.
— Not self-determining. A non-party decision-maker determines what is relevant, its significance, and the outcome.
— Remedies are designed for public applicability. Litigated decisions need to be applicable to a wide range of factual circumstances as decision-makers are not just ruling on facts, but establishing principles, as well.
— Has a present-tense focus. It frees the parties from the unchangeable past as work is about the changeable present and immediate future.
— Is holistic. The facts discussed are based on each party’s perspective of what happened and what the conflict’s about.
— Is self-determining. Each party determines relevance in the context of the resolution it seeks, and each party holds the decision-making power to agree or disagree; choose a particular outcome or not.
— Remedies are customized by the parties, for the parties.
This is a comparison made with broadly painted strokes, of course. Factors of similarity do exist, such as an outcome’s degree of reliability.
Like a judgment, a mediated agreement constitutes a contract and, so, is enforceable. Compliance with the self-determined agreement, however, is dependably high.
The take-away is, litigation may be a viable option. It just might not be the only one, or the right one for you.