Legal costs and ‘Mediation Receptivity

In 2006 Frank Sander produced a ‘Mediation Receptivity Index'(22 Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, 599-618). The MRI was a way to discern the extent of ‘mainstreaming’ or ‘institutionalization’ of mediation in different states. It not seems to have caught on, but some of the questions Sander lists are:


– Quantity of professional mediators
– Quantity of mediation firms
– reach of court programmes and numbers referred


–public funds devoted to mediation
–professional schools that teach mediation, numbers of students, academic journals
-Whether there are ‘potential movers sand shakers on behalf of mediation’
–legislation of mediation
– court rules of mediation
– executive branch orders for increasing use of mediation by state agencies.

By most of the standards Scotland is a ‘low-MRI’ jurisdiction. It has almost no court programmes and less than 0.5% of civil cases are mediated. It has less than half a dozen mediation firms. But it has some significant public funding for family and community mediation. However, another factor that often is not noticed is when people attempt comparing disputing cultures. In other words, who bears the cost of litigation?

While it’s a personal challenging for mediators to view cases charging off along road to courts, you should also spare a thought for the parties. They need to pay for the privilege. It probably astounds readers from other jurisdictions that the Taylor Review of Expenses and Funding of Civil Litigation in Scotland had no mention of mediation. It not also tells people about the actual costs of litigation to those involved. Staines Mediators

For finding that information, you need to go back to the Report of the Scottish Civil Courts Review.

Nonetheless people can speculate about the psychological effect of regime. Even in case you are aware that the legal costs may be as great as, in case not greater than, the sum you are likely to recover, in case you have a strong belief that you are the right and you may carry on as you believe the other side will pay the costs in the end. This likely gets compounded by confirmation bias, that is delightfully defined by the Wikipedia as ‘the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s beliefs or hypotheses while giving disproportionately less attention to information that contradicts it.’ This gets stronger when people get emotionally aroused. Confirmation bias is mainly compounded by a related phenomenon known as overconfidence. This implies that we generally get greater access to information which confirms or boosts our own perspective. People often go for family mediation in Birmingham as per their need.

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