Prior to commencing court proceedings, a dispute should be mediated if at all possible, in order to save significant expense and worry. Even if you do commence legal proceedings, a Court will require you to attempt to resolve the dispute at mediation before proceeding to a final hearing.
For mediation, a professional mediator is appointed by the parties to assist them in reaching a mutually beneficial outcome. Usually, the parties and their lawyers will meet and have the opportunity to express their sides of the dispute. Sometimes, they will then enter separate rooms and use the mediator's assistance to negotiate with each other until a resolution is reached. The mediator will not make a decision about what the outcome should be. Their role is an impartial one, intended to assist the parties in their negotiations. In our experience, mediation can be a highly useful, efficient and cost effective way of resolving a dispute. Our customers are often very satisfied with the results that can be achieved, as the process allows the parties to make their own decisions about the outcome, rather than relying on the decision of a judge or arbitrator.
Our law practice has nationally accredited Mediators who can conduct mediations. For further information, visit disputeover.com.au.
The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Any legal matters should be discussed specifically with one of our lawyers.
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Simon is a Senior Associate of Sharrock Pitman Legal.
He is an Accredited Commercial Litigation Specialist (accredited by the Law Institute of Victoria) and deals with Litigation, Mediation of Disputes, and Law for Charities & Not for Profits. For further information, contact Simon Matters on his direct line (03) 8561 3324.