MEDIATION AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION
Private dispute resolution can be a less adversarial and less hostile way to resolve an issue or part of an issue. An experienced mediator can help the opposing parties effectively communicate their needs and point of view to the other side. By being in a less formal setting before a neutral individual, the parties may be more open to frank discussion about both the strengths and weaknesses of their positions, resulting in a more fair and efficient resolution of their differences.
Our attorneys, through their years of litigation experience, are able to quickly, efficiently and fairly provide resolution services in the following areas of the law: Contractual Disputes Construction Matters Real Estate Disputes Personal Injury Claims Motor Vehicle Claims Premises Liability Claims Insurance Claims UM/UIM Claims Insurance Coverage Disputes Surety and Bond Claims Medical Malpractice Attorney Malpractice Employment Contract Disputes Restrictive Covenant Actions Legal Fee and Referral Fee Disputes There are several types of dispute resolution to consider:
In mediation, an impartial person called a “mediator” helps the parties try to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the dispute. The mediator does not decide the dispute but helps the parties communicate so they can try to settle the dispute themselves. Mediation leaves control of the outcome with the parties.
In arbitration, a neutral person called an “arbitrator” hears arguments and evidence from each side and then decides the outcome of the dispute. Arbitration is less formal than a trial, and the rules of evidence are often relaxed. Arbitration may be either “binding” or “nonbinding.” Binding arbitration means that the parties waive their right to a trial and agree to accept the arbitrator’s decision as final. Generally, there is no right to appeal an arbitrator’s decision. Nonbinding arbitration means that the parties are free to request a trial if they do not accept the arbitrator’s decision.
In neutral evaluation, each party gets a chance to present the case to a neutral person called an “evaluator.” The evaluator then gives an opinion on the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s evidence and arguments and about how the dispute could be resolved. The evaluator is often an expert in the subject matter of the dispute. Although the evaluator’s opinion is not binding, the parties typically use it as a basis for trying to negotiate a resolution of the dispute.
Advantages of Dispute Resolution
A dispute often can be settled or decided much sooner, often in a matter of months, even weeks, while bringing a lawsuit to trial can take a year or more.
When cases are resolved earlier, the parties may save some of the money they would have spent on attorney fees, court costs, and expert witness fees.
Increased Control Over Case Outcome
The parties typically play a greater role in shaping both the process and its outcome. In private mediation, allow the parties to fashion creative resolutions that are not available in a trial. Other processes, such as arbitration, allow the parties to choose an expert in a particular field to decide the dispute. In a trial, there is typically a winner and a loser. The loser is not likely to be happy, and even the winner may not be completely satisfied with the outcome. We can help the parties find win-win solutions and achieve their real goals.