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What role do mediators play in business disputes?

On Behalf of | May 27, 2022 | business litigation

Approaching a dispute with a business partner can take a lot out of a person. Knowing where to start already poses enough of a problem without having to add the emotional tension of a disagreement to the mix.

Fortunately, mediation exists to help you get through a dispute in the simplest and easiest way possible. It is thanks to mediators that this is possible.

Tailored advice from a mediator

Harvard Law School discusses mediators and their role in helping with disputes. A mediator works as a referee of sorts, ensuring that you and the other involved parties have a neutral third party to examine the situation and offer advice and opinions.

They work to lower the chance of arguments happening or getting out of hand by helping to control outbursts when they occur, and by focusing on allowing space for every partner to speak their concerns and thoughts.

Typically, a disputing party will work with one mediator over the course of the dispute itself. That person will grow familiar with the parties and the business in question and can thus offer more tailored advice.

What mediators cannot do

Note, however, that a mediator does not hold the same legal power as an arbitrator or a judge. When you go through arbitration or litigation, you present your case to a figure of legal power who then decides what all of the disputing parties should do. Their decision acts as a legally binding order, which all parties must abide by.

By contrast, a mediator can only offer suggestions and opinions that the parties can choose to take, ignore or edit as they wish.