February 09, 2021 Feature

Mediation: An Introduction

Jeffrey Allen and Malcolm Sher
All forms of mediation provide a process that avoids the time, hassle, and expense of judicial proceedings or formal litigation.

All forms of mediation provide a process that avoids the time, hassle, and expense of judicial proceedings or formal litigation.

jozefmicic/iStock via Getty Images Plus

While one can find references to a mediation process dating back to the ancient Phoenicians, the fact of the matter is that mediation today has evolved into quite a different animal than it was even 50 years ago. Over the years, mediation has provided a means of resolving disputes ranging from commercial, to social, to political, to legal. Although mediation as a form of dispute resolution goes back many years, it did not assume significance in the American legal arena until roughly 50 years ago. Since that time, mediation has grown from a process that occasionally provided the means of resolving legal disputes to one of the most significant and heavily used dispute resolution processes we have in the commercial and the litigation frameworks.

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