When people discuss cases and courts, most would imagine their favorite law-based television show – a packed courtroom with attorneys arguing expertly about a high-profile criminal case. While those do happen, they’re not as common as TV makes them seem. In reality, there are dozens of case types and multiple ways to go about reaching a verdict. One of the most overlooked options is mediation, a dispute resolution solution designed to avoid trials entirely.
Mediation is a form of dispute resolution that involves bringing in a third party to help reach a compromise. Most commonly, mediation is used in cases that involve intense emotion or highly charged arguments. They are also used when parties cannot safely or comfortably be in the same room for extended periods of time. Recently, there’s been a surge in Online Dispute Resolution (ODR); a digital version of mediation that can be used from anywhere. We’re here to clear up some misconceptions about the usefulness of mediation, and discuss the top four case types using it.
Landlord vs Tenant
One very common use case for mediation is landlord/tenant disputes. Because housing is involved, many people do not want direct confrontation with the landlord for fear of losing their home. Face-to-face arguments with landlords can result in “punishments” inflicted at a later date. By using Online Dispute Resolution or traditional mediation, these arguments do not occur and are instead manifested as a civil and constructive conversation about reaching a compromise. Online Dispute Resolution makes the process even less conflict-inducing. Both the tenant and landlord can submit their claims, and settlement negotiations begin digitally.
Rather than have people with elevated tension in the same room, Online Dispute Resolution provides a communication platform that is accessible, removed from the opposing party, and reliable. When a settlement is reached, the tenant/landlord relationship will likely be in much better shape than it would have if the confrontation happened verbally. Arguing when upset is never a good plan, and mediation adds a crucial, unbiased third party who can make the final call sans screaming match.
Divorce and Family Disputes
Because mediation can be most beneficial in emotionally charged situations, it makes perfect sense that it’s a tool of choice for divorce and family disputes. In the case of divorce, tensions are typically high. It is an enormous decision – one that changes the entire family dynamic. Divorce cases frequently come with child custody disputes. These can be very challenging to think and talk about in general, never mind in a court setting.
Mediation allows parents to find the best compromise for the children. In some cases, troubles within couple are caused by domestic abuse, unsafe home environments, and other serious conditions. Mediation is key in these occurrences to protect the victim from further fear, threats, or intimidation. Online Dispute Resolution goes one step further and avoids any face-to-face contact while still providing an unbiased middleman to moderate the discussion and suggest solutions.
Labor Unions vs Management
Just about every industry you can think of has a union of some kind. These unions are meant to protect professionals whenever needed and often fight legal battles on the behalf of members. Management of businesses who are taken to court for violating employee rights must deal with the union in order to reach a conclusion. Online mediation comes in handy in this case because the official management can be in the conversation rather than a local representative.
As you might imagine, CEOs and owners of large brands are busy and often times don’t have time to fly around the country to meet in court. Online Dispute Resolution does not require these decision-makers to leave their office, so it is easier and more likely to get them involved directly. This, in turn, empowers the union because any discussions are being held with the people who can directly influence the future of the company as a whole. Settlement with the big bosses gets to the root of the problem rather than simply putting a band-aid over the issue. Management will hear directly from their employees and any settlement that is reached will hopefully positively impact company culture to avoid future issues.
It’s also important to mention that mediation in this case avoids any form of intimidation from the upper-level management. There is a third-party witness who can ensure that the settlement is reached in a timely and fair manner. With such a vast imbalance of power between the union and management, it’s important to put both sides on an even playing field. Mediation, particularly Online Dispute Resolution does exactly that, allowing justice to be carried out as intended without any kind of power play.
The last case type we’d like to discuss is insurance claims. Insurance is a wonderful thing that can save people hundreds of thousands of dollars. That being said, there are occasionally situations where insurance companies dispute a claim, or take far too long for a payout. Insurance companies are very powerful and well-established. This can make competing with them in court a real challenge. Mediation levels the playing field to ensure that both the individual and the agency are viewed as equals and are not accused of unfair advantages.
Online Dispute Resolution is an insurance industry favorite because settlements can be reached in a fraction of the time as the traditional process. It also tends to be more affordable for all involved. The mediator is shown evidence and cases and then will work with the individual and the insurance company to reach an agreed-upon monetary settlement.
As with the management/union case type, mediation increases the chances of speaking with someone higher up in the company. Insurance agencies have representatives that respond to claims on behalf of the company. Depending on the case, it might be beneficial to have upper-level management involved who can make official decisions themselves. The individual will get to explain their side of things to the big wigs of their insurance company, and the agency can take that feedback to improve moving forward. When speaking directly to the decision-makers, the time can be drastically reduced because all middlemen are cut out of the conversation. You can get upfront information from the source, expediting the process and settling disputes faster.
Mediation is an extremely valuable tool in the Justice System. Online Dispute Resolution has made it more accessible than ever, allowing countless individuals to get a fair and affordable settlement. Mediation is far more common than people think, and it continues to grow in popularity.
Mediation is an extremely valuable tool in the Justice System. Online Dispute Resolution has made it more accessible than ever, allowing countless individuals to get a fair and affordable settlement. Mediation is far more common than people think, and it continues to grow in popularity. Court cases cost money, time, and resources that many people and companies are not willing or able to spend. Mediation is an excellent alternative to the traditional trial process and more companies are making it their first choice for settlements. We look forward to the continued growth of Online Dispute Resolution across industries and case types.
To learn more about Online Dispute Resolution and discover AI mediation, please visit https://resolvedisputes.com/.