When your business is tied up in a legal battle, you naturally want to find a way to get it wrapped up fairly, quickly, and as cost-efficiently as possible. Bringing the fight to court is always an option — and sometimes the best option. But before you go to court, you might want to consider mediation. And even once you’ve started a lawsuit, Minnesota courts will expect you to try to reach an agreement with a mediator’s help. So it’s helpful to understand exactly what the mediator’s role is.
Providing Neutral Support
Unlike a judge who determines the outcome of the legal dispute, a mediator serves as a neutral presence during the mediation process. While in some cases mediators may offer a perspective on the dispute, they don’t dictate the outcome; instead, it’s up to the parties to work together to reach a satisfactory resolution. The mediator is there to encourage the parties to listen to one another, ask questions that help the parties focus on their individual interests and their shared goals, and navigate obstacles to communication when they arise. While the mediator may step in to urge either party to clarify their position from time to time, the mediator does not take sides at any time during this process.
Moving the Conversation Forward
It can be hard to walk into mediation with an open mind. After all, you’re there because you’re in some sort of argument with the other party. Part of the mediator’s role is to foster an environment of collaboration, honesty, and open communication. You may not really like — or even entirely trust — the other party, but a mediator can set guidelines you both can follow as you work toward agreement. The mediator will explain the format and guidelines of the mediation process, making sure that all participants understand what to expect at each step. When disagreements arise, the mediator will use any number of strategies to encourage the parties to continue their discussions by focusing on their shared goals.
Empowering the Parties to Arrive at a Satisfying Resolution
The goal of business law mediators is to give the parties the confidence and tools they need to reach their own collaborative solution. The mediator can empower the parties to reach a mutually satisfying solution through asking questions, rephrasing thoughts and worries from an outside perspective, suggesting possible solutions that might not have occurred to you, and sometimes just knowing when to take a break. Business mediators ultimately know that the best agreements come from the parties, and know that their job is to help parties figure out how — or if — they can reach agreement.
Learn more about how the mediation process can help you resolve a business dispute in Minneapolis or St. Paul by calling Rubric Legal LLC today at (612) 465-0074.