Conflict is expensive. Regardless of the nature of the dispute, conflict is expensive.
Posts Tagged ‘savings’
Of all personal injury type cases, medical malpractice cases can be the most expensive and time consuming to take to trial. The litigation process in medical malpractice matters call for extensive record review and the opinions and testimony of expensive medical experts. In an effort to bring a speedier and more cost-effective resolution to medical malpractice claims, Connecticut has passed a statute requiring that all medical malpractice cases be referred to a 120 day mediation period.
Under Connecticut’s program, the presiding judge in a medical malpractice matter would conduct the first mediation. If the case failed to be resolved at this initial session, the parties could then agree to continue the mediation process. The stated purpose for Connecticut’s programs is to achieve a prompt settlement or resolution of the civil action.
Connecticut’s push for mediation of medical malpractice claims is a concept that can be applied everywhere. The goal of mediation in general is to provide parties with a forum to move ahead with prompt and amicable settlement of their disputes; without incurring the deep expense traditional litigation tends to generate.
Instead of the protracted journey that a medical malpractice claim can be, complete with lengthy and expensive depositions of expert witnesses, and extensive document review, consider mediation up front. Bringing all the parties to the table, with the assistance of a neutral mediator, can result in a swift outcome. Once the parties become engaged in a discussion of the bare facts of their dispute, a solution often becomes clear. Reaching this point at the beginning of a dispute, rather than waiting until the drawn-out litigation process has begun, can result in the parties resolving the claim with a result everyone involved can feel positive about and with a substantial cost savings.
Once of the largest downfalls in taking disputes to court and litigating them in the traditional fashion is the high cost associated with the process. All too often, parties feel the doors of justice are simply not open to them due to cost strictures. Be they neighbors who require assistance with a property boundary dispute, a divorcing couple with a tight budget, or a small business struggling to get by, the expense of a legal solution should never prohibit the service of justice. Mediation offers just such a cost-effective solution and can bring about a resolution to parties’ conflicts in an efficient and equitable manner.
Simply put, the cost of litigation is exponentially higher that the cost of mediation. For example, Susan Zuckerman in the May-July 2007 edition of the Dispute Resolution Journal presented a construction litigation hypothetical to a panel of experts. Based on their review, litigation of the matter would cost a whopping 50% more than mediation of the same dispute.
In a 2005 report by the American Intellectual Property Law Association, they revealed the average cost of patent litigation ran $2,000,000, trademark litigation ran $700,000, and copyright litigation ran $440,000. These costs are attributable to the adversarial proceedings of a traditional lawsuit. Each attorney involved is creating and responding to documents and a high billing rate, usually for years. Compared to mediation, where parties can come to the table and work with each other to resolve their conflict, it is clear to see where the ultimate savings come from.
Divorce is a type of conflict that is perfectly suited for mediation. The cost of a traditional litigated divorce runs anywhere from $8,200 – $60,000 with an average cost of $20,000 per spouse. This cost can be exacerbated by the adversarial system where parties may move apart merely to “win” rather than work together to a resolution. The high cost of divorce litigation can ultimately threaten the financial security of both parties that will, in the end, leave them in dire financial straits rather than leave them with a workable solution created and agreed to by the parties themselves.
Money is not the only “cost” associated with litigation. Time is also a large factor. The litigation trajectory includes much more time for paperwork, discovery, writing and responding to motions, depositions, and the overburdened schedule of the courts. Mediation facilitates the parties working toward a workable solution from day one without unnecessary posturing and expense. Your time, as well as your money, is valuable. Considering these things; mediation is the clear choice for dispute resolution.
Mediation is a method of resolving disputes in which individuals or groups in conflict meet with a neutral person who assists them reach an agreement that resolves the dispute. The mediator does not judge, determine merit, or favor one side over the other.
Mediation is an ideal means of resolution for most couples that are divorcing – even those couples that agree about very little. CFR Mediation builds on the tiniest of agreements, assisting the couple in creating a plan that works for their unique situation.
After the divorce or breakup, some couples are able to end their relationship completely. However, couples with children are going to have to maintain a somewhat close relationship for years. Mediation allows parents to create a plan for co-parenting that is uniquely tailored to their children and parenting relationship.
Some important aspects of CFR Mediation:
- Mediation is voluntary. Those who participate must choose to participate. As a result either party can end mediation at any time. In other words – All parties must agree to participate before mediation can even begin.
- Mediator is a neutral participant in process. The CFR mediator does not judge, advise, cajole, or make a decision as to what either party should agree to.
- Clients are in control of the resolution/agreement. The parties agree to the resolution of the dispute. No one comes out of mediation with an order to do something they have not agreed to.
- Agreements reached in mediation are as legally binding as any contract. In addition, since the agreements are reached with the full cooperation and involvement of the parties, adherence is greater than judgments rendered through the litigation process.
- Facilitated communication. Often those who come to mediation are absolutely unable to discuss the conflict calmly. The presence of a CFR Mediator mitigates the communication difficulties, and actively guides the parties towards a cooperative solution.
- Mediation is cost-effective. Mediation tends to be significantly less expensive than litigation. When people chose to resolve disputes – including settling the terms of their divorce – through attorneys, the fees almost always are higher and the process significantly longer than if those to mediate. What can take 6 to 10 hours of mediation can take ten times that amount in billable time for attorneys – a savings of tens of 1000s of dollars for couples.
For many couples, the reason to choose mediation is cost savings.
A divorce settlement worked out through attorneys can easily cost couples $25,000 (2 attorneys x reviewing documents x client meetings x settlement conferences x settlement writing x hourly fee)
In addition to cost savings, couples who choose to mediate their divorce settlement and parenting plan, end up with decreased levels of stress and significantly higher levels of satisfaction – both in the process and result.
The news of the economy continues to be filled with warnings of worse times to come. Clearly times are stressful.
Relationships too may suffer. It has been long understood that finances can be a major area of conflict for couples, even during prosperous times. It only makes sense that stress increases when times are leaner – putting an extra strain relationships.
Divorce Mediation is being increasingly seen as a viable alternative due to the expediency of the process and cost savings. When finances are tighter than they have been, legal fees can eat up a significantly larger proportion of the marital assets.
Some, who would have been extremely reluctant to consider mediation, are realizing that there are compelling reasons to try mediation first. The possibility of resolving a divorce (through mediation) in a matter of hours and typically for under $2,500, versus months of meetings and emotional angst coupled with tens of thousands of dollars in expenses is hard to argue against.
Contact a CFR Mediation Coordinator for a free no-obligation consultation.
Mediation is typically the most affordable solution to resolve a dispute. Below are some explanations for the savings – and are true for CFR Mediation Services, but may not be true for other mediation providers.
- Hourly mediation rates are typically less than the combined hourly rates of attorneys for each side. At times the total hourly rate may be less than a single attorney’s hourly fee.
- Fees are only charged for mediation time – not time spent sitting in court waiting to update the judge on the case, reading correspondence, making phone calls, etc. If you pay for 6 hours of mediation, you get 6 hours of actual meeting time focused on resolution.
- The agreements reached in mediation have a much higher level of compliance and adherence than non-mediated agreements. This results in a future savings: since the parties continue to adhere to the plan (and likely improved communication skills with one another), there is less need for future litigation.
- Mediated agreements are reached much faster than those worked out by attorneys or judges. Agreements in mediation are generally considered binding. Most cases can be fully resolved in 6 to 10 hours of mediation. It is rare that cases presenting with the same issues would be successfully resolved through other means, like litigation, so quickly.