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Winter is coming, Mediate don't Litigate!
01 June 2021  | Dries Knoetze | Views: 78
 
One of my favorite shows is the legendary series Game of Thrones and as per the men of the north and the low temperature outside, you will also find yourself saying that Winter is coming.

In my years practicing as a court attorney, I have realized that in winter months it would appear that court work be it criminal matters, civil matters and other litigious matters tend to scale down as the temperature outside declines.

The reason for this can either be that as bears, we humans tend to go into hibernation during the winter months or another reason can be that it is just to cold to be outside committing an offence like house robbery, but one thing I have realized is that not many people tend to litigate in the winter months.

I have also found that people during winter months rather focus on keeping warm and getting through the winter, as to instituting civil action against one another.

Keeping this rare occurrence in mind, the purpose of this blog is to inform you that there are other remedies one could follow to ensure that a dispute is resolved, one of which is Mediation.

When I started practicing my principal always said that a good settlement is a settlement where both parties walked away dissatisfied indicating that neither of them got what they wanted.

Currently in law we saw changes to both the Magistrates Court Act as well as the Superior Court Act in terms of which Mediation was incorporated. The Superior Court Act changed so dramatically that when you issue summons it is compulsory to attach to the summons a notice of mediation, in terms of which you must indicate whether the dispute can be referred to Mediation.

What mediation entails is that the parties under the guidance of an independent person attempt to resolve the dispute, by way of friendly negotiations.

We further see at that Mediators are appointed and trained to not only deal with divorce matters as was done in the past, but also to assist with resolving civil disputes.

I truly believe that this drive towards Mediation is an attempt to lighten the load of the already constraint, backlogged and barely functioning court system and should be considered by any party aimed at going to court as a cost effective alternative to litigation.

Hope you keep warm this winter and remember winter/mediation is coming.