||Months or possible years
||Usually days or weeks
||Significant cost in terms of both time and money
||Trial preparation is expensive, time consuming and costly
||Should be thorough, but is much less time consuming and costly
||Is a Win/Lose situation. Each party's fate is taken out of their hand and placed into the hands of the judge and jury
||Normally results in a Win/Win outcome with the parties mutually agreeing to a resolution that each is satisfied with. The process is risk free. It's completely confidential and if there is no resolution, the parties still have every legal remedy available to them.
||The focus is primarily on the facts and the law.
||The focus is on the parties' respective positions, issues, interests and emotions. All points of view are considered.
||Trial procedure is highly structured and for most parties, stressful and traumatic.
||Is more informal and relaxed. Less threatening and stressful. Allows parties the opportunity to freely express themselves.
||Normally produces a winner and a loser resulting in at least one party being dissatisfied and unhappy. It is not uncommon for all parties involved to be less than satisfied with the outcome.
||Generally, produces a favorable outcome with a high degree of satisfaction on the part of all parties with both the process and the results. Nationally, approximately 75% of all cases submitted to mediation result in an agreement between the parties.