Filing a legal action often results in an overwhelming amount of information. Sifting through it all may take up an enormous amount of time and energy.

Mediation is one term used frequently in the litigation process. There are times when settling a dispute with the help of a neutral person may benefit all parties involved. Get some basic facts and information regarding the role mediation may play in a lawsuit.

What is mediation?

Concluding a lawsuit may seem impossible. However, if the parties cannot agree on a resolution, the process may have to go before a judge, taking more control out of the parties’ hands. In the alternative, those involved may choose to go through mediation. A mediator is a third-party professional who helps conflicting parties reach a reasonable and mutually beneficial conclusion. There are professional mediators who the parties may hire, or a court may appoint one. The complexities of the case may dictate if it is eligible for mediation.

How does the process work?

Once the parties decide to go forward with a mediator, they choose a meeting place for a conference. The mediator may conduct the process in one of two ways. The mediator may have everyone together in one room to speak openly. Some mediators find that separating the parties and talking to each one may work better in reaching a compromise. Regardless of the way the process occurs, the mediator keeps parties on track and helps find a middle ground that hopefully ends the case.

Is the result of mediation binding?

If mediation succeeds, the parties draft and sign a final agreement. Once executed, the documents go before the judge for signing and filing. This ends the action. If the parties do not compromise, they proceed forward with litigation before the judge. The verbal and written agreements made with the help of a mediator are legally binding unless one party can prove coercion or pressure.

A mediation may keep some measure of control in the hands of the parties and their representatives. Having an ally during a lawsuit may prove beneficial for reaching a favorable end.