Alternative Dispute Resolution
Several of our firm’s attorneys have many years of experience and knowledge with assisting in settling disputes outside of the courtroom. This process is formally known as Alternative Dispute Resolution. In general, there are two forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution: (1) arbitration and (2) mediation.
The parties may find themselves in arbitration, if the written agreement between the parties contains an arbitration clause. Alternatively, the parties may voluntarily agree to move their dispute to arbitration. Once in arbitration, the dispute is typically heard by one or three arbitrators, evidence and testimony is presented to the arbitrator(s), and the award is binding on both sides and enforceable in court. The award of the arbitrator(s) is generally not appealable. Arbitration tends to be more efficient, timely, and cost-effective, as compared to litigation.
At any time during the litigation process, the parties may mediate their case/dispute by agreement, or at the direction of the court. Mediation is a non-binding process where a neutral third-party facilitates negotiations between the parties in an attempt to reach a settlement. In general, there are two types of mediation: (1) evaluative and (2) facilitative. In an evaluative mediation, the mediator separates the parties and their counsel into separate rooms, and the mediator shuttles between the two rooms asking questions, carrying messages, pointing out strengths and weaknesses in each side’s arguments, and conveying offers until a settlement is reached. In a facilitative mediation, the mediator attempts to keep the parties and their counsel in a joint session, fosters communication between the parties and their counsel, without providing an opinion, and allows the parties and their counsel to formulate a resolution. Mediation also tends to be more efficient, timely, and cost-effective, as compared to continued litigation.
For many years, our firm’s attorneys have served as single arbitrators, as one of three arbitrators, and as mediators, in resolving various types of cases/disputes involving: personal injury, personal injury protection, civil, commercial, construction, business, family law, probate, trusts, and real estate. Our firm’s attorneys have the experience and knowledge to assist you with alternative dispute resolution methods to resolve your case/dispute.