Commercial mediation is the application of mediation strategy, process, and techniques to address issues between two commercial enterprises.
- Mediation is a method by which those individuals or groups primary to a conflict agree to use the services of a third party mediator to assist them in discussing the situation and determine a resolution.
- The mediator serves as a catalyst to promote communication, joint problem solving, and resolution by consensus;
- The mediator usually does not judge, evaluate, or make a decision rather the mediator uses her skills to lead discussion of the matter, ensures that relevant information is available to all parties, and fosters identification of alternatives to move forward.
- Mediation is confidential. The mediator may not share any of the information disclosed during the course of a mediation.
- Mediation is typically voluntary. Sometimes a court, however, may request that the parties attempt mediation to resolve the matter.
- The mediator may employ one or several types of mediation such as facilitative, evaluative, or transformative. The type of mediation chosen usually depends upon the circumstances and the mediator’s preference.
Mediation Partners New England is particularly focused on difficult situations between service or product providers and their customers, though we work on other types of commercial issues as well. Where applicable, quality techniques may be utilized to understand the issues.
Value and Benefits
The benefits of employing MPNE for your next contract negotiation include:
- Mediation is an efficient, effective alternative to litigation to resolve business disputes. Mediation provides an opportunity for the parties to understand the perspectives and forces driving each other.
- In litigation the judge makes the decision. In a mediated case, the parties work with each other to develop a way forward that considers each of their interests. Mediation is joint problem solving.
- Given the long lead times to have cases adjudicated, mediation can be a faster way to resolve issues.
The outcome will be a contract that represents your interests and requirements while:
- An agreement or way forward meeting many of the interests of each party is the desired outcome of a mediation. The agreement may take the form of a formal memorandum of understanding or it may be an informal summary of what is to occur when. It is recommended that some type of written document is produced (by the mediator) so there is material that can be referenced in the future.
- The relationship between the parties is maintained. There is a higher possibility that the relationship between the parties is safeguarded because the parties’ disagreement is not handled by a contentious court battle but by constructive, candid discussion.
- If an agreement does not occur, the parties are better informed about each others’ interests and motivations.
ABC Enterprises, a 12,000 person firm located in four locations across New England has outsourced its information technology support to QQQ Inc., a national vendor. In the past six months, there have been many complaints about the responsiveness and quality of QQQ’ s support service. QQQ Inc. would like to address the problems and turn around the service quality but at recent meetings ABC Enterprises has focused on hot ad hoc support issues rather than a methodical way to improve service. QQQ Inc. would like to engage a mediator to assist in problem solving discussions with ABC Enterprises.
Two firms, Acme Service and Harbour Products have shared rental space for over five years. Each firm has fifteen years remaining on their individual leases. In the past twelve months, Acme Service’s business has quadrupled and it would like to take over 35% of Harbour Product’s space. Harbour Products is comfortable in its space and doesn’t want to give it up but they are having financial challenges and a reduction in lease costs would be beneficial. Harbour Products would like a mediator to assist in discussions with Acme Service.
A frozen yogurt shop has established business in an historic part of Lowell, Maine. The shop is part of a national brand but the Lowell franchise is owned by a local native. Other shops in the vicinity are upset by both by the garish signage the yogurt shop has installed and the fact that a national chain has established a presence on the town’s Main Street. The local owner of the yogurt shop has tried to address the concerns of his fellow business owners but last night his window was broken and the words “You are not wanted in the town” were spray painted on the store front. The local owner is asking for a mediator to help him work out issues with the community and its businesses.