Even celebrities with millions of dollars at their disposal can see the value in mediation to avoid expensive litigations and undesirable outcomes.
Recently, Angelina Jolie and her ex-husband Brad Pitt were involved in a legal case where Pitt sued Jolie over selling her portion of the winery to a third party. The dispute was regarding whether or not that act was appropriate and acceptable without prior approval from Pitt. A jury trial was requested, but there was an agreement made to participate in a settlement conference or mediation session as a form of alternate dispute resolution (ADR). The court ordered both sides to meet and confer over a unified discovery schedule.
This shows that both parties in this case and the court are trying to avoid litigation by using an alternate dispute resolution process. This is important for both parties because once their case is decided by a judge or jury, the final outcome is out of their hands. With mediation, the parties are able to control the process and have a say in the resolution.
From a celebrity’s standpoint, another reason for mediation is to avoid reputational risk. Once the parties go to court, the court records are all public. Anyone can access the court files and form an opinion on any member of either party, risking reputational harm. In mediation, the only people involved are the direct parties and the mediator. The public isn’t granted access to mediation records and if you’re often in the spotlight, this may be your ticket to privacy.