Mediation might not be the answer to every dispute.
Here's a little checklist we adapted from the talented folks at BMC Associates to test if resolution of your conflict might be suitable for mediation.
If you can answer "Yes" to at least one of these, mediation might be advisable -- the more "Yes" answers, the more likely mediation is the better alternative.
Would it be worthwhile to have a good working relationship with the other side after settlement?
Do you prefer a speedy resolution, of can you devote a year or more to litigation?
Do you prefer to resolve this dispute in private?
Is your usual approach not working?
Has poor communication or information played a role in the conflict?
Is the dispute negatively impacting your finances, emotions/health, or relationships?
Mediation is ideally suited to the situation in which it is important to resolve the dispute quickly, cost-effectively, privately, and in a way designed to help preserve, repair, or maintain a relationship. In those cases, seek out a certified mediator near you to discuss the possibility of mediating your dispute. (Check out the Pennsylvania Council of Mediators or Mediate.com to find a trained, certified mediator near you.)