Lessons From a Top Mediator: 5 Reasons Why You Should Mediate and Not Litigate

Available for Interviews: Carol Barkes

Carol Barkes is a conflict resolution expert, mediator, national speaker, educator, and bestselling author who uniquely applies neuroscience to the fields of conflict resolution and negotiations. Her expert perspective is always fresh and relevant.

What Carol Barkes can say in an interview on
the Benefits of Mediation

 1. You keep the power. When you mediate, you get to choose what concessions you make to move past conflict. It is the one legal process where the parties get to keep the power. The mediator may walk you through the pros and cons of your decisions, but you are the one who ultimately decides. In court, you give your power to the judge and you essentially gamble on the results.

 2. You have far more options available—and these options are complied with at a higher rate. A judge is limited by the law. In mediation, parties can agree to solutions to which a judge does not have access. For instance, payment plans can be arranged, trade-offs can be considered. In research done through my courthouse program, compliance with a judge’s order was only 37% while through mediation it was a whopping 93%. Parties comply with agreements more effectively when they have a part in deciding what the agreement is.

 3. You have the ability to get closer and say and hear things you will never have the opportunity to do in court. In court, if a party wins, it doesn’t mean the matter is over (as there are a number of options for appeals). This can keep people engaged in expensive legal fighting, which can be highly stressful, for years. Once an agreement is made in mediation, it is over. The mediation agreement becomes a document enforceable in court should something go wrong. Mediation can also be a way to resolve differences while also healing the relationship. People often find the issues troubling them were about misunderstandings or that they both wanted to resolve them but didn’t quite know how. This is far more satisfying than simply receiving a ruling.

 4. It is the only real place to prove the “principle of the matter.” When you are in mediation and get the other party to agree to do something, it is because you have proven your principle. They have heard you or they wouldn’t put an offer on the table. On the other hand, if you go before a judge and the other party wins, it empowers their position and you have lost ground rather than gain satisfaction.

 5. It is much faster and more cost-effective than litigation. Mediation can resolve an issue in a few short sessions—oftentimes one or two. This can be far cheaper than having an attorney prepare you for trial, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars depending on the subject matter.


Interview: Carol Barkes.

Carol Barkes, CPM, is a trend-setting mediator, business executive and educator specializing in the use of neuroscience to improve business performance, interpersonal communications, negotiation and conflict resolution processes for optimally successful results. She is also a speaker, educator, and author of the bestselling book: Success Breakthroughs: Leading Entrepreneurs and Professionals Reveal Their Secrets for Breaking Through to Success.

Jo Allison
Managing Editor
Success in Media, Inc.

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