What is the outcome you really want. What information do you need? What may or may not stand up in court? Who do you have to talk to, to get the answers you need? No-one always knows all the answers, and being best prepared as you move into dispute resolution is the first step. Being prepared will empower you with confidence. It’s the information you request and how you feel about the information provided that makes all the difference to your readiness to negotiate and agree an outcome.

Take advice but control your destiny – Alison Shaw – Shaw Mediation from Alison Margaret Shaw on Vimeo.

A judge is able to make decision based on the law. The judge applies the law to the best evidence before them presented by the barristers. That’s their legal responsibility.

Mediation, on the other hand, operates so effectively because it is voluntary and it can be terminated, leaving the courts as the last resort. However, the courts do not have the flexibility or opportunity for creativity that mediation offers.

Ultimately, in a court your legal representative will put your best case forward and it is the judge who has the power to decide the outcome. Is that really what you want? Someone else making decisions for you? Are you the one to hide behind solicitor letters and barristers gowns in the gallery of the Court? It’s a costly path.

In mediation you have the chance to obtain advice before and during the joint mediation session. Spend time obtaining a legal opinion about what the court might do if you did ask a judge to decide. Find out what remedies are available to you and the likely possible legal outcomes. What is your best case scenario from a judge? What are the weaknesses in your legal case? This legal advice will help you make an informed decision on the day.

If you need financial or accounting or tax advice on possible outcomes actively get that advice in preparation of the day. Any advice you pay for during

mediation is better value for money because you are using the advice you are paying for. In my view, the best part of advice is that you don’t have to take it.

This means that only you know what you want or need to resolve the case and to move past it. Make that decision with the best advice available but stay in control of the outcome in mediation.

Doing what you can to take charge of the outcome, is the best outcome for you. Information is power, and advice on the various aspects of your dispute can only empower you further!

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