The Disadvantages of Mediation

While the Mediation process offers parties with disputes many advantages over other dispute resolution procedures, it is important to recognize that Mediation procedures do not always have ideal outcomes.

Negative results can occur in that:

No Agreement is Reached... There is no guarantee that conflicting parties in Mediation will agree to a resolution of their conflict. A strength of the Mediation Process is also a weakness. Many people prefer to use Mediation to resolve their disputes because it allows them to remain in control of the outcome, rather than handing that control over to a Judge. As a result, although it is rare, it is always possible that parties will go through the time, expense and efforts of Mediation, only to find that one party decides not agree to a resolution of the dispute.

Mediation Agreements must be enforced in Court... After an Agreement between the parties is signed, the Agreement or “Contract” is treated by law the same as all Contracts people sign. That is, if one party does not follow the agreement, the other party can only enforce the agreement by filing a lawsuit with the Court.
One Party may not cooperate. One party to a dispute can simply decide they do not want to cooperate in the Mediation. A party can make this decision any time, even after the parties are in the middle of the Mediation process.

Advantageous Information can be given... Mediation can be used by the parties to gain sensitive information from the other party. This information can sometimes give one party an advantage over the other party in later Court proceedings.

Appropriate Situations for Using Mediation