When and How Mediation Works | Case Studies and Scenarios
Mediation can effectively resolve a host of legal disputes. Our mediators are legal experts with varied experience in business/commercial law, intellectual property law, employment law, technology law, property law, banking law, family law etc. They are well-trained and skilled in mediation and thus, perfectly positioned to guide the most complex legal disputes through the mediation process.
Our Mediators are supported by Case Managers who help parties through the mediation process. CAMP is focused on providing a neutral and comfortable environment where legal disputes can be settled in an efficient and effective manner.
Disputes relating to breach of contract are generally the most common disputes for mediation in the commercial sphere.
X and Y are 2 two companies, with X in the business of supplying raw materials. Y enters into a contract with X for the supply and delivery of goods. When Y defaults on payments, X files a suit for recovery of amounts due and additional damages for business losses. X and Y agree to mediation.
With a neutral facilitating the process, X and Y were able to come together for the first time and discuss their standpoints. X was made aware of Y’s cash-flow issues, which were as a result of diversification and expansion plans. X saw the potential of increased business in this. By focusing on the potential opportunities of the situation instead of the momentary setbacks, the Mediator was able to get both parties to see value in continuing the business relationship.
After 4 mediation sessions, both parties agreed to a fair settlement figure to be paid to Y, and a withdrawal of the suit by X. More importantly, the business relationship between both parties continued.
Most employment matters, especially those relating to termination of employment of senior-management employees is well-suited for mediation.
B is a long-time employee of company Z. A reorganization process makes it necessary to relieve B of his senior management position. The company terminates B’s employment without notice, and compensates B with a lump-sum amount. B sues Z for wrongful termination and demands reinstatement. Z requests for mediation, to which B agrees.
Joint and private sessions with both parties helped the Mediator understand everyone’s perspectives. B’s concerns stemmed from the abrupt and disrespectful manner in which his termination was handled, as well as from the wording of his relieving letter, which he felt affected his chances of finding future employment. Z revealed that their priorities were confidentiality and having to handle as few similar escalations from other employees. Armed with a view of both sides’ needs, the Mediator was able to co-opt other parties concerned like the HR Head, the Legal Team, and the Payroll officer in the mediation process for clarity and transparency. B’s concerns were given a fair hearing and the terms of his exit, including details of his severance package were explained to him, logically and respectfully.
The company Z awarded B an additional amount, over and above his full and final settlement, as compensation for how the situation had been handled thus far. B’s relieving letter was also rewritten to highlight his strengths and contributions to Z. In return, B agreed to not just withdraw his suit against Z, but committed to not bringing any additional suits and maintaining complete confidentiality about the entire affair.
Landlord-Tenant disputes relating to eviction, maintenance etc. and disputes relating to ownership and possessions of property are also mediation-friendly.
Landlord-Tenant Dispute #1
In a case between a Landlord and Tenant, an eviction case is filed against the latter. The Landlord wanted the premises vacated in 12 months, which the Tenant saw as breach of the lease agreement, which laid down vacating based on mutual discussions. The Tenant refused to leave, but agreed to mediation, pending litigation.
Private sessions with the Landlord revealed that they had been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and with only a few years to live, they wanted to help their son set up a business, for which the property was required. With the understanding that this information could be shared, the Mediator was able to get the Tenant to see the other perspective. However, his own concerns were the inability to find other accommodation for his family in the given time, due to ongoing real estate prices. The requirements of both parties were aired and shared in a reassuring and confidential manner and environment.
A joint mediation session with both parties resulted in the Landlord agreeing to support the Tenant financially by reimbursing the security deposit for the property, as well as allowing the Tenant to stay on for 18 months. The Tenant agreed to share the premises with the Landlord’s son for the additional 6 months, which gave him sufficient time to find new accommodation.
Landlord-Tenant Dispute #2
The tenant T, an international company, had leased a property from L, the Landlord, for a period of 10 years. 2 years into the lease, T made demands for physical changes to be made to the property, to which L refused. As a result, T stopped their rent payments. A mediation clause in their agreement resulted in both parties coming to the discussion table.
A single, but effective mediation session revealed that T’s Bangladesh office had recently experienced a serious fire accident, following which the company had a zero-tolerance policy for any building violations across all their leased properties. T had been given 30 days within which they had to obtain a compliance certificate for the property under consideration in India, or discontinue the business. L explained that the deviations that existed in the property were as a result of changes to local regulations and that obtaining clearances as per T’s terms with the given time was not feasible.
With no middle ground available, both parties conceded to terminate the contract on mutually agreeable terms.
A scientist named X is Founder & Lead Scientist of company C. Senior employees Y and Z who had been part of the R&D Team for 5 years leave company C and start their own venture, Company D. X believes company D uses competing design and technology and files criminal and civil cases against Y, Z and company D for infringement. After 5 years of unproductive litigation, the parties agree to try mediation.
Mediator was successful in moving the focus from whether or not there was infringement to understanding what the Parties really wanted in this situation. Both Y and Z, are young, brilliant scientists with very promising careers. Since the filing of this lawsuit they had to shut down Company D and have not been able to work. Their real interest was to be able to reclaim their lives and move on personally and professionally. X had No clarity on what was ‘his’ IP and ‘their’ IP. He needed to identify his core IP and ensure that there is no future infringement.
An expert was brought in to understand the concept, design, and technology that belonged to X and to all three. With the expert and mediator, the parties identified technology that belonged to X and technology that belonged to all three. Y and Z agreed to pay X for the technology that was identified as his that they had used. Y and Z were allowed to use the IP that was identified as belonging to all three. The parties saw value in moving forward and not dwelling on whether or not there was infringement
In 3 sessions, parties identified the underlying interests and agreed to settle the dispute amicably. They took time to draft a watertight settlement agreement & continue to maintain good relations to date.