.Mediation has been shown to be a cost effective, time effective means of settling disputes. Results are long lasting and parties have a greater “buy-in,” a desire to follow through with the agreement, than with using a judge, the traditional way cases are settled. Here in the Midwest lawyer led settlement conferences and litigation still rule. Yet the trend toward mediation, like many other trends, is real. If you look at the east and west coasts of the United States (and to a lesser extent the southern coastal states), you can see that mediation is already firmly established. In the interior of the United States mediation is growing, but it has not reached full acceptance by the public.What are the barriers to mediation in the rest of the country? There are both external and internal factors.
By external factors, I mean the status quo. These factors range from television dramas (portraying court battles but seldom mediation) and custom to the open opposition to mediation by many attorneys firmly established in their profession. By internal factors I mean the factors inside each of us that are opposed to mediation. These factors range from lack of maturity, an inability to see another viewpoint, and entrenchment to the desire to punish or even destroy the opponent, none of which is helpful to settlement in mediation.
In future posts I will attempt to deal with these factors in detail, along with ways to get around them, so that mediation will be widely accepted by all people in the US, not just by those living and working in a few coastal states and larger cities.