How Long Does Mediation Take in a Lawsuit?
Posted on Saturday, February 25th, 2023 at 7:53 am
Mediation is a popular form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) because it sometimes allows for faster resolution of disputes than trials do. However, the length of the mediation depends on the case’s complexity and the parties involved. As a result, mediation can take anywhere from a few hours to several days.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is a process to help you reach a mutually acceptable resolution. It involves a neutral third party, a mediator, who facilitates discussions. During mediation, the mediator will work with you and the other party to identify the underlying issues and present possible solutions. Mediators cannot make decisions for your case. Therefore, you don’t have to settle if you don’t like their suggestions.
Parties to a case often prefer mediation over court because it can be less formal and more cost-effective. Additionally, it gives you more control over the outcome of your case because you can negotiate a settlement tailored to your specific needs.
How Long Does Mediation Last?
The length of time that mediation lasts varies depending on several factors, including:
- The complexity of the case
- Number of parties involved
- The willingness of the parties to work toward a mutually acceptable resolution
In some cases, mediation will end with a resolution in a single session. Attorneys often advise clients to set aside at least four or five hours. In more complex cases, you may need several sessions over the course of several days to reach a resolution.
The length of the mediation may also depend on the mediator’s approach and style. For example, some mediators prefer to work quickly, while others may take a systematic approach.
Ultimately, the length of the mediation depends on the willingness of both parties to work toward a resolution. If you are both willing to compromise, you will likely reach a settlement agreement faster.
What Happens After Mediation?
If you reach an agreement during mediation, you memorialize the terms of your mediation agreement in writing. Once all parties sign the written agreement, it becomes a legally binding contract. Therefore, you and your attorney should thoroughly review the terms and consider the implications of the agreement before you sign it.
What Happens After Mediation Fails?
If you cannot reach an agreement during mediation, you have several options:
- Mediation with a different mediator: The right mediator can make a difference in the outcome of your mediation. As a result, if mediation fails, but you feel there is a good chance of reaching an agreement, a new mediator may help.
- Try a different form of ADR: If mediation fails, you may want to consider whether arbitration or a settlement conference is a good fit for you. Arbitration is a resolution process with a neutral third party, an arbitrator, who can make decisions in your case.
- Continue settlement negotiations without a third party: If you cannot reach a settlement agreement during mediation, it doesn’t mean you have to stop negotiating. Instead, you can keep the lines of communication open and potentially reach an independent agreement before the trial.
- Go to court: If you cannot reach a settlement agreement, you can go to trial to resolve the dispute. However, the information disclosed during mediation is supposed to be confidential. You should not use it as evidence in court.
How Long After Mediation Can You Go to Court?
There is no set timeframe for how long a party must wait to go to court after mediation. Sometimes, getting your case to trial can take several months.
Scheduling a trial is usually initiated by the party who filed the case. They can make a request for a trial date at any point during litigation but typically do so after the discovery phase. Once you make a trial date request, the court will consider several factors, including:
- Court’s existing calendar
- Estimated length of the trial
- Availability of the parties
As a result, the timeframe for trial after mediation depends entirely on the circumstances of your case.
Contact Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC Today
If another person caused your injury through their wrongdoing, you deserve justice. You may be able to reach a resolution of your case with mediation instead of going through the costly trial process. The attorneys of Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC are experienced in successfully representing clients in personal injury lawsuits and mediation. With our experience, we will vigorously fight for your best interests and seek maximum compensation in your case.
To discuss your legal options with our skilled legal team, contact us for a free and confidential consultation at (513) 351-5997