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Mediation can play an integral part in helping parties to resolve various civil lawsuits. Parties can reach an agreement through the use of a neutral person trained in problem solving and negotiations instead of going to trial.


A civil lawsuit is generally a case where the parties are suing for money, such as a personal injury. If the case does not settle during mediation, the case will usually be tried before a judge.

If a private mediator is used, the parties or the judge decide who will serve as the mediator. Usually the mediator has no prior relationship with either party. Most private mediators in civil cases are specialist with specific subject matter training and experience such as an engineer, a realtor or certified public accountant, if that person’s expertise would be helpful in resolving the case. 

Any type of civil case or issue in a civil case may be mediated so long as the parties agree it should be mediated. In addition, mediation is available before a lawsuit is even filed. The courts encourage mediation of disputes in civil cases for three reasons: the court system doesn’t have the resources to have a trial in every civil case; often the parties reach a better result in mediation; and people are often more satisfied with a mediated resolution.