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The Many Benefits of Mediation Over Litigation

Posted by Mark Ruiz | Jan 11, 2024 | 0 Comments

Since 2011, my law firm has represented dozens of individuals and businesses in litigation disputes, mostly involving real estate matters but also in Trust Litigation matters and Family Law disputes.  In a world where disputes are inevitable, the traditional approach to resolving conflicts often involves heading to court, engaging in lengthy legal battles that can be emotionally and financially draining. However, a more efficient and cost-effective alternative exists in the form of mediation.  Mediation is encouraged by the courts after litigation has begun Plaintiffs are required to serve on Defendants a required ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) Information package.

Over the years, I have become a huge fan of mediation so much that I almost never engage litigation clients unless they are sold on resolving the case through mediation.  In April 2023, I became a Mediator myself and since that time have worked with Sacramento Lawyers for the Arts and have added Mediation as a service at my own Law Office. Since 2020, I have been transitioning away from Litigation and instead focusing more on Wills and Trusts, Estate Administration and, more recently, Mediation.

In this blog entry, we will explore the numerous advantages of choosing mediation over litigation, particularly focusing on the significant cost savings associated with this alternative dispute resolution method.  

1. Lower Legal Costs:

Litigating a case is often time consuming and expensive. Legal bills that run into the six figures are not uncommon in Real Estate Litigation Cases or Family Law Matters.  For larger cases involving corporations are high profile litigants, legal fees can escalate into the millions. One of the most apparent benefits of mediation is the reduction in legal fees. In a courtroom setting, both parties typically hire legal representation, and the costs can quickly escalate as the case progresses. Mediation eliminates the need for extensive litigation preparation, court appearances, and lengthy legal procedures, leading to substantial savings for all parties involved.  I recommend that the Mediation occur as early in the litigation as possible, sometimes even before Discovery is concluded, so that all parties can save legal fees.

Moreover, Litigation involves various court fees, including filing fees, motion fees, and other expenses that contribute to the overall cost of the legal process. In mediation, the absence of courtroom procedures means no additional court-related fees, allowing parties to allocate their resources more efficiently.  There also miscellaneous costs such as Expert Witness Fees, Court Reporter Fees, and Fees associated with taking lengthy Depositions that can be reduced or avoided if the parties engage in Mediation, especially if they do so early in the process.

2. Efficient Resolution:

Mediation is known for its efficiency in resolving disputes. Unlike court cases that may stretch on for months or even years, mediation often reaches a resolution in a matter of weeks. The streamlined process not only saves time but also reduces the financial burden associated with protracted legal battles.

3. Increased Payment Compliance

One of my favorite advantages to Mediation is that, in my experience, it increases payment compliance. Often times, Plaintiffs erroneously believe that if they obtain a judgment, they will easily be able to collect on it. In many cases, nothing could be further from the truth. Defendants can appeal or vacate a judgment, which not only adds to the time it takes to collect the judgment but in some cases the judgment can be reversed or vacated.  Other times, Defendants can abscond assets, claim exemptions, etc., which makes collecting even more difficult. Finally, Defendants can often file for Bankruptcy. Therefore, from a Plaintiff's perspective obtaining a voluntary agreement through mediation is often superior to a court ordered Judgment. For Defendants, the Defendant can avoid the need to spend time and money in efforts to delay or avoid paying a possible future judgment and in some cases preserve their credit by avoiding the prospects of Bankruptcy by entering into a voluntary, manageable agreement to pay back a debt.  In summary, Mediation often results in more voluntary and cooperative payment outcomes, as parties willingly adhere to mutually agreed-upon terms, overcoming the common challenge of enforcing judgments in traditional litigation.


4. Preservation of Relationships:

Not only is Litigation a time consuming and very expensive process, but it also has the potential to impose a huge emotional toll on the parties to the litigation. I have seen business relationships, friendships and even relationships with family members destroyed as a result of the litigation process. Beyond financial and practical considerations, mediation offers an invaluable benefit in preserving relationships. In a courtroom, the adversarial nature of litigation can strain personal and professional connections between the parties involved. Mediation, being a collaborative process, fosters open communication and encourages an amicable resolution, which can be especially crucial in family or business disputes. In highly emotional litigation situations such as those involving disputes between friends or family members or in the case of a family law dispute, at worst, the parties often leave with a better relationship or "taste in their mouth" then had the litigation escalated to trial. At best, it is not uncommon for the parties to apologize, shake hands or even hug at the end of a mediation.

5. Customized Solutions:

Mediation allows for creative and customized solutions that cater to the unique needs and interests of the parties involved. The parties get to customize their resolution to the dispute rather than leaving their fate to the whims of a judge or a jury. This gives them a certain control over the outcome.  And sometimes this involves outside the box thinking.  Sometimes terms can be negotiated into a mediation agreement that would not likely be ordered by a court of law.  For example, imagine a scenario involving a dispute over financial obligations, where parties engaged in mediation may negotiate a unique and flexible payment schedule that accommodates the specific financial situations and capabilities of each party. While a court might typically order a money judgment for an amount, but mediation allows for a more personalized approach. The parties may agree to a graduated payment plan, tying payments to certain milestones or financial events, demonstrating a level of cooperation and understanding that extends beyond the rigid structure often imposed by legal judgments. This negotiated arrangement fosters a sense of collaboration and increases the likelihood of voluntary compliance.

6. Reduced Emotional Toll:

Litigation can be emotionally draining for all parties, taking a toll on mental well-being. It is not uncommon for clients to lose sleep over the uncertainty and adversarial tone inherent in Litigation.  Meet and confer letters, depositions, discovery disputes all can take a huge emotional (not to mention financial) toll on clients.  Mediation, with its focus on open dialogue and cooperation, provides a more supportive and less confrontational environment. This reduced emotional stress not only benefits the psychological state of the individuals involved but allows them to focus on finding a solution rather than fixing the blame. It contributes to a more efficient dispute resolution process.

7. Confidentiality and Privacy:

Mediation proceedings are private and confidential, offering a level of discretion not found in open courtrooms. If a matter proceeds to trial, sensitive personal information may be disclosed in open court.  The parties can come to a confidential settlement agreement as well. This confidentiality can be especially appealing in sensitive matters, as it allows the parties to maintain a higher degree of control over the information disclosed during the resolution process. 

In conclusion, the benefits of choosing mediation over litigation are not only limited to the swift resolution of disputes but also extend to substantial cost savings. By embracing a collaborative and cost-effective approach, parties engaged in mediation can not only resolve their differences efficiently but also emerge from the processes in some cases with preserved relationships and financial resources intact. Ultimately, mediation stands as a compelling alternative that not only benefits the individuals involved but also contributes to a more efficient and compassionate justice system.

For information about our mediation services, please see the link below:

Mediation Services | The Law Offices of Mark Ruiz (


This article is intended for general information purposes only.  Any legal analysis or other content should not be construed as legal or professional advice or substitute for such advice.  No attorney-client or confidential relationship is formed by transmission of information.  If you require legal or professional advice, please contact an attorney or other suitable professional advisor.  The choice of an attorney or other professional is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements and blog postings.

About the Author

Mark Ruiz

Mark A. Ruiz Attorney/Owner Mark  primarily focuses on Business Law, Real Estate Law and Estate Planning.  He holds a Bachelors Degree from Santa Clara University with an emphasis in Business/Marketing and a Law Degree from the University of San Francisco with a Business Law Certificate.  He ...


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