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When Should I Use Mediation?

Alternatives to litigation can be used in any situation where both or all parties are willing to negotiate, or have been instructed to do so by a court. The mediation process offers personal attention and emotional satisfaction in labor and employment disputes, simplifies complex, multi-party environmental cases, assists in the negotiation of contracts, and generally results in more beneficial agreements.

So, the question becomes, when shouldn't you use ADR? There are times when ADR may not be appropriate. All aspects of a case should be considered before entering into the ADR process. In some cases, litigation is the preferred course. Litigation can provide a binding decision that sets a legal precedent. However, the primary result of litigation is monetary compensation and it often ends in a 'win' or 'lose' situation. Facilitative mediation almost always provides for a more appropriate resolution for both parties.

© 2020 Varnum LLPNational Law Review, Volume III, Number 319


About this Author

Harvey Koning, Varnum, M&A attorney, merger, acquisitions

Harvey is a partner and leads the Banking, Finance and Restructuring Practice Team. He represents a wide variety of businesses and has substantial experience with mergers, acquisitions and capital raising. Harvey’s practice includes acquisition transactions (domestic and international), family businesses, securities regulation and executive compensation. Harvey works closely with the Ally Law network of law firms throughout the world to assist clients with international legal needs. He has extensive experience concerning government regulation and other matters specific...

Richard Hooker, labor and employment attorney, Varnum

Dick Hooker has had significant experience in traditional labor relations, state/federal agency work, employment litigation, union election campaigns, unemployment insurance taxation matters, and arbitration of employment disputes. He is a facilitative mediator for the U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan and the Michigan Courts, and he is listed as an arbitrator and mediator with National Arbitration & Mediation, Inc., the American Settlement Centers and the National Arbitration Forum.