Mediation or Litigation

While litigation is routinely utilized to resolve legal disputes, mediation offers numerous advantages to court room litigation and is often a better choice.


Mediation is generally more efficient than litigation and less time consuming. Waiting for trial dates often takes several years, whereas mediation usually can be scheduled as soon as all parties have agreed on a mediator and an acceptable date can be set.


In contrast to litigation, mediation is private. When a legal issue is litigated in a courtroom, the discussions held during the trial, the information exchanged, and the resolutions are all a matter of public record. When an issue is settled through mediation, people not directly involved in the dispute are typically excluded from the process. Parties who mediate with Mr. Cohen are required to execute a Confidentiality Agreement in which they agree that the discussions during mediation cannot be used at a later date as evidence, nor may the Mediator be required to testify as to what took place during mediation proceedings. How the mediated issues are resolved and what was required to reach the resolution remain confidential. The parties may agree to non -disclosure of the settlement agreement, except in case of non-compliance by one of the parties, requiring enforcement of the Agreed Settlement.

Control over the Resolution:

Mediation puts complete control over the outcome of a dispute into the hands of the disputing parties. Instead of their fate being turned over to a judge or jury, mediation actively involves all parties to the dispute and is complete only when these parties agree to the settlement. In cases that proceed to a court hearing, mediation may be used to limit issues to be litigated.

Advantage to Parties with Business Relationships:

When disputing parties seek to resolve their misunderstanding by mediation, one of the outcomes may be that the parties involved can preserve their personal or business relationship and resolve their differences. This type of result is generally not possible through a hotly contested litigation.


In most situations, mediation is less costly than court room litigation because settlements are arrived at without lengthy pre-trial discovery and court room proceedings. Often the statements or affidavits of expert witnesses can be substituted for their court room presence, and prolonged discovery can be avoided. Legal fees should be considerably less when using mediation, because less time is required to reach a settlement in Mediation.

Success of Mediation:

The success of mediation depends on the realistic expectations of the parties and their willingness to enter the mediation with an open mind. All parties having total authority to settle the dispute should be present at the mediation, and the parties to the dispute need to have full authority to enter into a binding agreement if the mediation is to be finalized.

An experienced attorney and a seasoned mediator, Stephen B. Cohen is uniquely qualified to handle disputes requiring third party intervention. Mr. Cohen can be contacted at 219-836-1171 or 847-530-3637 or at