At the ABA Annual Forum on Franchising in Toronto this past week, several of the presentations touched on the subject of mediation, specifically as a dispute resolution method stated in the franchise agreement. The concept was discussed in what was for me a surprisingly positive light. I have never thought much about the concept of contractually induced mediation. If it is phrased as mandatory it seems unproductive conceptually. Parties are less likely to agree to anything if they are forced to the table at the expense of other remedies. If it is not mandatory, it seems like a toothless concept. If the parties could voluntarily agree to resolve their dispute, they wouldn’t be having a dispute in the first place. But one of the presentations at the Forum introduced statistics that suggested that parties are more likely to resolve a dispute if they enter into mediation first, to a surprisingly high degree.
Which leads me to a question. Do you think mediation works? Do you use it in your franchise agreements? If so, do you phrase it as a mandatory requirement to the initial exclusion of all other remedies? If not, how do you introduce it?
This query is an experiment of sorts. I have never offered a survey type question on this blog before. It you do respond, via our contacts page, I will provide to you a summary overview of the other information I receive in response.