Is mediation possible if the dispute is pending in court?

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2023 | Mediation |

When conflicts arise, some people would initially consider bringing the dispute to court, this being the traditional method for resolution. However, throughout the years, alternative nonlitigation avenues have become available for conflict resolution, one of which is mediation.

With multiple methods available, parties usually weigh the pros and cons and choose one method over the other. But what if parties who brought a dispute to court subsequently decide to work on a solution privately through mediation? Can they still do so despite the existing case with the court?

Does dispute status matter in mediation?

Whether the dispute is pending or about to be filed in court, the parties may opt to mediate if they believe it would be the best option for their case. Courts usually allow and sometimes encourage parties to explore other workable solutions to the conflict.

If the dispute is already pending in court, the parties can request to halt the proceedings and request private mediation. According to Georgia’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules, any party to the dispute may petition the court to refer the case to mediation. But this is still subject to the court’s review and case screening.

What happens after mediation?

Once the parties to the dispute reach a settlement, the written and executed agreement terms made during the mediation are enforceable to the same extent as any other agreement. It is important for the mediation agreement to be in writing. Otherwise, it is not binding, even if the agreement is in recording.

Whether you are an individual or a business owner, it is beneficial to know that multiple techniques for conflict resolution are available. Deciding which one is the best for your case will depend on the unique factors of your case.