185. Mediate a dispute
Updated July 20, 2009
A lot of people don’t know it, but in many states there are two alternatives to a law suit if you’re in a dispute with someone else. They are arbitration and mediation.
Arbitration is what we see on television on shows like Judge Judy and The People’s Court: both cases present their side of the case to an impartial third party and that third party then makes a decision and that decision is legally binding for both parties involved.
Mediation, on the other hand, is simply a helper who helps both parties to work out their own differences – if you’re at least a little friendly with the person you’re having a dispute with, it’s a great option that might let you get justice while preserving the friendship. Even divorce settlements can be mediated as long as both parties are willing to make some compromises to save a lot of time and money and lawyer’s fees.
I took a course to become a mediator to help people work out their problems, but I stopped short of getting my certification. It’s something I’d definitely like to revisit someday.