Mediate rather than litigate

Farm disputes can be difficult to resolve. If you are involved in a dispute that is proving difficult to settle, either a dispute between family members or a farm business dispute, mediation may provide the best solution.

Family farm disputes that could not be settled by the parties themselves have traditionally been resolved by the legal or court action.

The legal route to dispute resolution is costly, may be heard in public, can be a long drawn out process and almost certainly leads to break-up of personal relationships or loss of business relationships.

Mediation offers a far better alternative to dispute resolution particularly for family farm disputes, whether they be farm business disputes or disputes between family members.

Today’s family farm business involves many commercial transactions and business relationships as well as having to cater for various family relationships which do change over time.

These family and business relationships can, and do, give rise to problems and disputes.

The clear majority of these are resolved by direct discussions and negotiations. Some are for a time ignored only to grow and become more difficult and costly to settle and usually result in permanent damage to relationships

What is mediation? In mediation, an independent mediator assists the disputing parties in resolving their dispute. Mediation is a voluntary process of conflict resolution that allows the parties in dispute the opportunity to address their issues, with the aid of a mediator, in a confidential and private environment.

Mediators are trained in conflict resolution skills and they provide a professional and confidential expert service to give the people involved the best possible opportunity to resolve their difficulties.

Mediation can deal with single issues or multi-issue disputes involving two or multi-party conflicts.

Mediation can provide an acceptable solution early in the conflict or as a last-ditch effort to avoid costly and public litigation and a court hearing.

How does Mediation work? The mediation process will vary, depending on the type of dispute.

Generally, an agreement to mediate will be signed at the outset and the mediator will then meet with the parties together and or separately, over the course of one day or in sessions over a number of days or weeks.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.