When parties are on the defense side of any type of civil litigation case, they are likely looking at all available options to attempt to end the case as soon as possible, and as cost-effectively as possible. In many situations, mediation may be a viable option. So, can mediation help in civil litigation? The answer, like the answer to many legal questions, is probably, “it depends.” To consider whether or not mediation may be an option in a specific legal case, it is important to understand what, exactly, mediation is.

The crucial part of the mediation process is the third-party individual who will serve as the mediator. Having a mediator who is forthright, persuasive and creative can help the parties explore all of the potential options for settling the pending litigation. During mediation, the mediator is supposed to listen carefully to the positions presented by all parties involved and then present potential options for how the problems in the case can be resolved.

Civil cases are typically the most ideal types of cases to attempt to mediate. Although emotions can be high in many types of civil cases, it may be possible — for the most part — for the parties to attempt to put emotions aside long enough to attempt to explore options for settling the case. Focusing on the facts can help.

In most cases, any agreement reached by the parties in mediation must be submitted to civil court for approval. Though, as long as the mediation agreement does not violate the law, which part of the process is typically not a concern.