Beyond the First Mediation: Navigating the Next Steps towards Resolution

When parties enter into mediation, they typically do so with the intention of finding a mutually agreeable solution while avoiding the time, expense, and uncertainty of litigation. While mediation can be immensely beneficial, sometimes parties may fail to reach an agreement. It’s at this point that it’s important to consider what options are available and how to navigate the next steps towards resolution.

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In this article, we’ll explore the various steps that may follow when first mediation fails, including the advantages and disadvantages of each, to help you make an informed decision on how to move forward.

The Appeal Process:

One option after the first mediation fails is to appeal. This involves requesting a review of the mediator’s decision by another neutral party. While an appeal can bring a fresh perspective, there are some downsides to consider. For example, the appeal process can be lengthy and expensive, and there’s no guarantee of a favorable outcome.


Litigation is the traditional legal process for resolving disputes. It can be a long, complicated and expensive process, but it can also lead to a binding decision or settlement. There may be times where litigation is unavoidable, but there are certainly downsides to consider. Litigation can be expensive, time-consuming, stressful, and has the potential to permanently damage relationships between the parties involved.


Negotiation is a process of discussing the dispute and working towards a voluntary agreement. It can happen outside of court, or during the litigation process, as a way to resolve issues before a final decision is reached. Negotiation can be less formal and less costly compared to litigation. It can also lead to more creative solutions that are tailored to the specific needs of the parties involved.


Arbitration is a process where a neutral third-party, known as an arbitrator, makes a decision on the dispute. The decision is typically binding, meaning it cannot be appealed in court. For this reason, it can be a quicker and more cost-effective alternative to litigation.


While first mediation failure can be discouraging, there are still effective ways to resolve disputes. As with all options, it is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each to determine the most suitable approach. At Rhino Mediation, we understand the challenges involved in resolving disputes. We offer comprehensive mediation services that aim to help parties find common ground. Contact us today to learn more.

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