Choosing Litigation over Mediation: Balancing Integrity and Legal Proceedings


Before turning to litigation, mediation is sometimes seen as the essential first step in the resolution of problems. But some would question if moving directly to court instead of mediation is a good option. Although there are circumstances in which mediation may not be suitable or effective, it’s crucial to think about the possible repercussions of avoiding this procedure.

The Role of Integrity in Litigation

Integrity is a fundamental principle that underpins the legal system and the pursuit of justice. In litigation, maintaining integrity is essential to uphold the credibility and validity of the process. Here, we explore the importance of integrity in various aspects of litigation.

  1. Presentation of Evidence: Upholding integrity means presenting evidence truthfully and accurately. Distorting or fabricating evidence undermines the integrity of the case and can lead to severe consequences, including legal sanctions.
  2. Ethical Conduct: Lawyers and parties involved in litigation must adhere to strict ethical guidelines. Acting with integrity involves conducting oneself professionally, honestly, and respectfully towards all parties involved in the legal proceedings.
  3. Respect for the Adversary: Maintaining integrity requires treating the opposing party with respect and fairness. Engaging in unethical tactics, personal attacks, or harassment erodes the integrity of the legal process and compromises the pursuit of justice.
  4. Compliance with Court Orders: Adherence to court orders is vital for upholding integrity. Failure to comply with court directives can result in penalties and sanctions, as well as damage the credibility of the case.

Advantages of Skipping Mediation

  • Time-saving: Mediation can take weeks or even months to complete, depending on the complexity of the dispute. Going straight to court can expedite the process and save time.
  • Cost-saving: Mediation fees can add up, especially if multiple sessions are required. By bypassing this process, parties can save money on mediation fees.
  • No obligation to settle: In mediation, both parties are expected to negotiate and reach a settlement. If one party is not willing to compromise, the process can be prolonged. In court, there is no obligation to settle and both parties can present their case to a judge.

Disadvantages of Skipping Mediation

  • Higher costs: Litigation is often more expensive than mediation due to the extensive legal process involved, such as filing fees, attorney fees, expert witness fees, and court costs.
  • Longer process: Going to court can prolong the process, especially if there are appeals or counterclaims involved.
  • Loss of control: In court, the final decision is in the hands of a judge, who may not have a full understanding of the situation or the parties involved.

Maintaining Integrity in Court

If you do decide to skip mediation and proceed to court, it’s important to maintain ethical standards throughout the process. Here are some guidelines for doing so:

  • Disclose all relevant information: Be honest and transparent about the facts of the case, including any prior agreements or settlements.
  • Respect the legal process: Follow all court rules and procedures, and treat all parties involved with respect and professionalism.
  • Seek legal guidance: Consult with an experienced attorney who can help guide you through the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected.
  • Consider alternative dispute resolution: Even though you may have skipped mediation, there may be other forms of alternative dispute resolution that are available to you, such as arbitration or settlement conferences.

Skipping Mediation and Maintaining Integrity in Court

Skipping mediation and going straight to court can be a tempting option for some, but it’s important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages carefully. By maintaining integrity in court and following ethical guidelines, parties can ensure that their case is presented fairly and accurately. At Rhino Mediation, we believe that mediation is often the best approach for resolving disputes, but we also understand that each situation is unique. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you navigate through any legal conflict.

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