The Benefits of Land Dispute Mediation

In this video, Mediator and Attorney Philip Hundl describes many of the benefits of Land Dispute Mediation. Call or text our office for an appointment at 800-266-4870.

Benefits of Land Dispute Mediation

Summary of Benefits of Land Dispute Mediation

Hi, I’m Philip Hundl, and I’d like to talk to you today about some of the benefits of land dispute mediation. I’m an attorney and a mediator.

I represent lots of clients in land litigation, and that has, over time, translated into having an interest in helping folks mediate these types of cases. In 99% of our land litigation cases, at some point in the litigation we’ll go to mediation.

I’ve found mediation to be extremely helpful, so I completed training as a mediator and I started mediating these cases.

Sometimes people will say why mediate? Why waste time mediating? What are the benefits of mediating a case?

First, most courts will require you to go to mediation before having a trial. If that’s going to be the case, I typically say make the most of it. The sooner the better. Go to mediation so that you don’t spend more time and money in the litigation process.

As a lawyer, I can tell you that it’s critical to be ready for mediation. I’ve done some videos on Land Mediation Tips and those include five videos describing pointers for successful mediation.

One of the things you don’t want to do is go to mediation empty-handed or with a lack of knowledge or understanding of the facts in the case. You need to be knowledgeable about the facts of the ownership interests of the properties.

And so, for example, so you want to go to mediation sooner, rather than later, but you want to have enough information to be informed. You need to be informed to be able to make good decisions.

Specific benefits of land dispute mediation

Reason One. Most courts will require you to try mediation anyway.

Reason Two. In mediation, you retain control of the outcome of the case. The parties have the opportunity to reach agreements at mediation, but they can’t be forced to accept an agreement. The mediator is going to try to resolve the dispute between the parties, but each party in the litigation is going to have to agree to the outcome. It’s not going to be a decision made by the mediator, and that’s just how it is.

Mediation allows the parties the flexibility to develop innovative agreements. In land litigation, there may be multiple tracts of land and several parties.

Deciding which party receives which land, it’s almost like putting a puzzle together. You’re playing with puzzle pieces of what everyone might agree to. There may be different ways to divide up the land.

We’ve had mediation in partition cases where we may spend two hours working on setting the dividing line of the whole tract into two pieces. The negotiation would include how much acreage each party’s going to get and which kind of land is going to be in which tract.

For example, in a easement dispute over a road, one party might agree to build a road and another party’s going to contribute a certain amount of money to build the road.

Reason Three. You might save money with mediation. The cost to litigate a case through trial, be it a bench trial with a judge or a jury trial, is extremely expensive. Yes, there are cases where parties are willing to spend that kind of money on litigation.

But mediation is a good way to limit the litigation costs if you reach a resolution. If you go to mediation and you don’t reach a resolution you haven’t saved anything. You didn’t reduce your litigation costs because you had to go to mediation.

But the success rate at resolving cases at mediation, or shortly thereafter, is very high. So in many cases, it is cost-effective to take a case to mediation sooner rather than later.

Reason Four. Another top reason to go to mediation is it really keeps things more confidential, as opposed to a trial, where the outcome of the trial will be public. So if you want to keep things more private, then reaching a confidential settlement agreement is something that you want to do.

Reason Five. Mediation might speed up the resolution of your land dispute case. Different courts have faster dockets than other courts, but it’s very possible that a case could take between a year and a half to three and a half years to get to trial.

I know that sounds like a long time, but given the current Covid restrictions cases are taking longer to move to trial. So if you want a speedier resolution to your case, mediation may make that possible.

So I hope that’s helpful. We talked about five benefits of land dispute mediation. Once again, my name is Philip Hundl. My practice focuses on land litigation as an attorney for parties, and also as a mediator.

So if you have any questions about mediation, happy to visit with you about that. Please text or call 800-266-4870 for an appointment. Thanks.