Managed Mediation is a necessity when the dispute is big or multifaceted, involving a large number of stakeholders. A company might not have sufficient time or trained personnel to settle these disputes on its own. In such cases, both parties may prefer to go for managed mediation to achieve a thorough and impartial settlement of a dispute.
How is managed mediation different?
Typically during mediation, one of the mediating parties seeks the services of a mediator who then brings the two people together to try and achieve their resolution. However in a managed mediation, everyone usually has already been in contact with each other and have established communication on the dispute. Due to the high number of individual cases in the dispute, they agree to seek managed mediation from a third party to save time on settling the dispute case by case. The cases within the dispute are likely to be complex.
A typical example where managed mediation may become helpful or even necessary is the dispute arising between a medical insurance company and a physician due to unsettled claims. Each claim in question may have a different reason for being in dispute such as under payment, overbilling, or incorrect application of diagnosis codes. There might be hundreds of claims that are under dispute and it would highly taxing for the company to try and resolve each dispute on its own. Another situation where managed mediation may be sought is where there are a large number of affected people as in a residential mortgage foreclosure initiated by a lender.
The managed mediation process
Once a mediator is engaged:
- The mediator will study all aspects of the dispute and hold discussions with everyone to decide on necessary actions that need to be done before the mediation process can be initiated.
- The mediator identifies the key stakeholders in the dispute.
- Disputing people and key stakeholders attend one or more mediation sessions on mutually agreed dates.
- The parties agree on a solution and the timeline for implementing it.
- The mediator ensures that all issues are resolved in a logical and optimal manner that saves time, money and resources for everyone.
- The mediator will monitor the progress of implementation and schedule further mediation sessions, if required.
Advantages of a managed mediation in settling complex disputes
Managed mediation is considered to be the preferred approach in handling large disputes due to the following reasons:
- It is far less expensive than arbitrating the dispute in a court.
- The mediator helps all parties to understand what is expected of them prior to the mediation, so that when the mediation sessions occur, all stakeholders are better prepared to participate in it. As a result, the mediation has a higher chance of being successful.
- All parties get an equal chance to represent their side of the dispute and be heard. So, the resulting solution is satisfactory to all.
- The mediator resolves outstanding issues and conflicts to make the mediation process smooth.
- The parties understand and agree to their responsibilities in implementing the solution, leading to a win-win solution to the dispute.
Managed mediation is a cooperative and integrative process that is designed to fit the requirements of everyone and leads to quick and rational settlement of a dispute. Hence, most businesses prefer to use managed mediation rather than spend time and money litigating potentially a string of disputes.