The Story of an Orange

Mediation is a method of alternative dispute resolution that is becoming more and more popular for many different types of disputed issues, employment issues, contract issues, relationship issues to name a few.

Just about any type of case which can be litigated in the courts can be resolved by mediation. Not all cases are suitable for mediation and a trained and experienced mediator will be able to highlight when mediation is not the correct path, but for the majority of cases mediation is a viable option.

Mediation has a number of key advantages over standard litigation, it is more cost effective, a case that goes via mediation will normally cost 10% of the standard litigation method, that is a saving of 90%, a major factor which should not be underestimated, the second major advantage is time, Mediation can be arranged quickly and as it is an informal, while still a managed process, the documentation required and legal arguments need to be drafted are not as time consuming as that of standard litigation. With online mediation this time can be further reduced as the parties can be located in their homes, office or any location of their choice, thus removing the need to book and arrange meeting rooms, travel etc. this can save both time and money.

Once a mediation meeting is agreed, it will take place, normally, within our company, we only assign 1 mediator to a single case in a day, therefore there will be no delays or over run, no time wasted.

Confidentiality within mediation is another major factor, nothing that is said during the mediation sessions is reported, as is the case with court cases, in fact when mediation is related to employment issues all that is noted is that a session has taken place. With other mediation session only if the agreement needs to be filed in a court will there be any public record, otherwise mediation and the information shared is completely confidential, no public records, no press, no shared information.

Mediation is normally successful due to its ability to think “out of the box” and look at solutions that give the parties a win-win state, this is not something that can be achieved, as a general rule, with standard litigation. The best example of this is the orange story, there are many variants to this tale. In this example we shall just refer to the parties as Jack and Jill.

Jack and Jill both wanted the last remaining orange, to the point they became very argumentative and the argument was destroying their relationship, both business and personal. Jack came up with a solution, “let’s just cut the orange in half, I will cut it and Jill can chose the half she wants”. On the face of it this fits the win-win solution, both getting 50% of what they want, as opposed to one party get 100% and the other side getting nothing.

But with the help of Humpty, a trained mediator, they were able to come up with a better solution, Humpty was able to discuss with each party why they wanted the orange so much, and then get them to discuss this more openly and without the adversarial issue. What Humpty managed to do was work with both Jack and Jill and get them to look at the driving elements for each party, he got from Jill that what she wanted was to make a cake and needed only the peel of the orange, and what Jack wanted was the juice to make a drink. By talking through the issues with a mediator, the mediator guided and help them look for the underlying reasons and driving elements, and then helped them be prepared to discuss this in a controlled environment, this lead to a different solution, one which was a 100% success for both parties was achieved, Jill would get the peel and Jack would get the juice from the fruit.

This outside of the box thinking is a key element of Mediation and another powerful fact that must be considered, the courts are bound by what they can award, and the normal out come from litigation is a win lose, mediation looks for solutions that not only provide a win-win but go beyond and look at the true issues and needs, and where possible suggest a solution that can give each party what they are looking for.

Let us help you get this win-win situation for you and let us help you save money and time in a truly confidential manner, that is only possible via mediation. Contact us now and let us work and see how we can help you.


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