“The litigious spirit is more often found with ignorance than with knowledge of law.” -Cicero
“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser–in fees, expenses and waste of time.” – Abraham Lincoln
“The entire legal profession–lawyers, judges, law professors–has become so mesmerized with the stimulation of the courtroom that we tend to forget that we ought to be healers of conflicts. For many claims, trials by adversarial contests must in time go the way of the ancient trial by battle and blood. Our system is too costly, too painful, too destructive, and too inefficient for a truly civilized people.” -Chief Justice Warren E. Burger
I litigated for 20 years. I began implementing mediation into my practice in the late 90’s as an alternative to the shortcomings I perceived in the courtroom. To me, truth and justice came up short many times even if there was a so-called win. Don’t get me wrong, litigation does have its place and time. Mediation is not always preferable to litigation. Litigation is a good place for those who won’t listen and need to be held accountable. It also tends to level the playing field where a party may be unreasonable. This is why we have the black robes.
My point is this: Litiagtion should be a last resort. Based upon my experience and that of many of my collegues it is usually expensive, overly time consuming, a waste of valuable resources, debilitating and flawed. You have little control over the outcome. Mediation, on the otherhand, tends to be less expensive, less overwhelming and produces more creative outcomes that can benefit all the parties involved.