Mediation V. Litigation/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

The State of Alabama was recently sued by the inmates of its prison system for providing inadequate medical and therapeutic care for its inmate population. Judge Myron Thompson, a federal judge, ruled against the State. He ordered mediation for the opposing parties so that thee parties can come up with a proposed solution by September 7, 2017.

This case shows that there is an artificial contrast that is often made between litigation and mediation. Even in cases where litigation is a preferred route, mediation becomes the preferred means by which a solution may ultimately be created. Mediation allows for an exchange of ideas and information. It gives the parties a chance to be creative and solution-oriented. Mediation can lead to Win-Win; litigation cannot. The search for solutions and lasting change can be triggered by mediation and dignified discussion. Litigation is not geared for such an open-ended approach. Whatever form the dispute takes on, mediate don’t litigate.

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