Alternative Dispute Resolution
Litigation can often be costly and pose a threat to the continued success of businesses, partnerships, and corporations, which is why we are staunch advocates of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). ADR refers to the process of settling legal disputes by means other than litigation, most commonly through mediation and arbitration.
Mediation is a private, informal dispute resolution process in which a neutral third party – the mediator – meets with the parties both as a group and on an individual basis. After an evaluation process, the mediator makes recommendations to each party involved to assist in the resolution of the dispute. While the mediator has no power to impose a decision on the parties, often the parties are able to reach a settlement by using this process.
Arbitration is typically conducted by one person or by a three-person panel. The arbitrator or arbitrators are selected either directly by the parties or designated by an arbitration agency, and act as both judge and jury. After conducting a hearing at which both parties have an opportunity to be heard, the arbitrator or arbitrators render a decision referred to as an “award.” The award is final and binding upon the parties and is enforceable through the courts if necessary. As such, the rights of appeal from an arbitration award are limited.
ADR is generally a faster and less costly process, typically providing all parties a more satisfying experience. More importantly to some, ADR allows both parties to have input in the process and more control over things like selecting a mediator or scheduling a hearing. Our attorneys have experience serving as both mediators and arbitrators, as well as representing clients in ADR. This experience enables our legal team to participate completely in any ADR procedure.