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Mediation vs. Litigation

What are the Differences?

Historically, this is the way people go about getting a legal conflict resolved – each person hires an attorney who argues with the other attorney over every legal issue related to the issue(s) in question. The communication goes upward from the attorney to the judge who makes a decision.
Both parties give away their power to control the outcome of their dispute because the decisions are all made by a judge. The disputing parties do not speak to the judge but they speak to a lawyer who speaks to the judge.
Litigation is confrontational.
  The focus of litigation is on the past
Litigation is not confidential because the courtroom and the records are open to the public.
Very costly as compared to mediation.
Mediation is now the preferred way to resolve disputes in most cases because it is efficient, less expensive and allows the disputing parties and not a judge to make decisions.
Both disputing parties keep their power to control the outcome of the dispute because decisions are made by them with the expert help of a specially trained mediator.
The communication goes between both parties and the mediator with the disputing parties retaining control of the decisions related to their issues.
Mediation is non-confrontational
The focus of mediation is on the future and not the past.
Mediation promotes better communication and decreases future conflict.
Less costly as compared to litigation.

Compared to traditional litigated cases, which can take from months to years, most mediated cases can be completed in a matter of days or weeks, depending on the complexity of the dispute.