Going To Court Has 4 Major Risks – Lawsuit Opinions

Here’s another really good example of where mediation of a relatively small tenant and neighbor dispute resulted in a successful outcome. This comes to us from Habitat, a publication for the New York City co-op and condo industry. The headline is right on point: “Mediation Beats Litigation.” Let’s delve into the details.

The Noise Dispute
Going to court over a nuisance issue is time-consuming and expensive. In this case, it was a noise dispute between two neighboring tenants that was handled with mediation. One complained about the other making noise, talking on the phone, and their dog barking. As a result, both parties had to endure the noise and complain to the condo board.

Mediation Process
The condo dispute resolution assigned the case to a mediator, who spent a full day working with the parties to find common ground. The agreement reached was signed by both parties and enforceable in court. It required several steps to be taken to resolve the dispute.

Mutually beneficial agreement
The agreement included steps such as getting barking training for the dog, installing soundproofing, and agreeing to no more banging on the wall. The condo board even paid for the soundproofing. This agreement eliminated the need for both parties to sue, saving time and legal fees.

Avoiding Litigation: Why It Matters
Litigation would have taken five or six years before going to trial. During this time, both parties would have continued to endure the noise issue, along with accruing substantial legal fees. Additionally, litigation would have made the dispute a matter of public record, potentially affecting future opportunities for both parties.

Cost of Litigation
Legal fees for a case like this could easily amount to $60,000 or more. These fees could impact insurance rates or be reflected in loss runs for companies. Mediation, on the other hand, does not have to be reported to insurance and offers a more cost-effective solution.

Encouraging Mediation
To ensure disputes go to mediation, parties can highlight the advantages to the other side. Mediation offers a voluntary and non-binding process where parties retain control over the outcome. Unlike arbitration or court proceedings, mediation allows parties to walk away at any point.

In conclusion, mediation offers a valuable alternative to litigation, as demonstrated by this case study. It saves time and money and preserves confidentiality. Parties have the opportunity to craft mutually beneficial agreements while avoiding the uncertainty and expense of court. Consider mediation as a resource, even if it’s not required in your contract, to achieve a more favorable resolution to disputes.

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