Double dip recession a case for mediation

| Mediation

The talk of a double dip recession remains a hot topic of discussion and debate in financial and business circles.  What does this mean for dispute resolution?  A debate over the economic fate of a country or sector often causes organizations and businesses to become gun shy over taking risks.  Why?  The inability to predict outcomes involving the future demand for products and services or the cost of borrowing  is considered a negative.  How can an organization or business plan ahead if they have no sense of what lurks over the horizon.  Tthis loss of control causes us to take a pause and rethink.  Is that a bad thing? Of course not…it is normal, rationale and responsible to value predictability and control in the decision making process.   Now enters mediation, a white horse in the often murky and unpredictable world of litigation.  How often as lawyers do we say to one another or to the client especially at the post mortem of a lawsuit ”interesting how that case just seemed to take on a life of its own.”  Interesting for the lawyers but not so much for the parties who incurred unnecessary delay, expense and stress often times associated with protracted litigation. Why did the parties or clients set themselves up for this nasty experience? At some point they chose the riskier route of litigation over mediation or other less formal types of dispute resolution which foster client empowerment by taking control of the process and outcome in resolving a lawsuit over the risk in having a third party do it for them.  This begs the question…if we value the predictability and certainty of outcomes when considering decisions affecting our organization or business why except in the most limited cases do we throw caution to the wind and double down on litigation to resolve legal disputes.  Perhaps a serious rethink is in order.

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