Litigation can be expensive and time-consuming. For many civil matters, defamation included, it is always possible – indeed desirable to settle the matter out of court through mediation. Here’s what you need to know about how mediation can work to resolve your defamation case.
What is Defamation Mediation?
Mediation is one of three possible methods (the others being negotiation and arbitration) that can be used to resolve a defamation case without having to go to court. When you choose mediation for defamation, a neutral third party steps in to guide discussions between the parties, working towards an amicable resolution. These resolutions often incorporate compromises from both sides. There is a fee for mediation and the exact cost will differ depending on where the mediation is held, as well as the experience, reputation, and skill of the mediator. Mediation is also non-binding.
How to Choose a Mediator
A mediator should be chosen on the basis of reputation and history, as well as factors such as fees, location and assurance of neutrality. The best way to find a good mediator is to seek your lawyer’s advice.
How Does Mediation for Defamation Work?
In mediation, the two parties involved in the defamation suit will meet with a trained, impartial and skilled mediator. The mediator does not act as a lawyer or dictate any particular settlement to the parties. Instead, the two parties negotiate, with the mediator holding the space and intervening where necessary. If there is a problem with the agreement, the mediator will help resolve it in a way that maintains the trust of both parties, always seeking consensus and acting with total neutrality. Once an agreement is reached and put in writing, it becomes legally binding.
There are many benefits to mediation. It costs much less than litigation, for a start. It is also far less stressful and more likely to foster resolution as opposed to acrimony. It usually progresses more quickly than a court case, and allows the two parties in the case – rather than a judge – to make a final decision about the outcome.
How a Lawyer Can Help You With Defamation and Mediation
If you feel the need to sue someone for defamation – or conversely, if someone sues you – a lawyer can help you take the matter to court if necessary. A defamation lawyer will help you prepare your case and prepare for your court appearances, as well as represent you there. However, a good defamation lawyer will also advise when mediation is a better option, and help you find a good mediator, then prepare for the negotiations.