Mediation and Arbitration
Mediation and arbitration, collectively known as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), are ways to prevent or solve disputes without using the court system. They avoid litigation, which is combative, expensive, time-consuming and stressful. In mediation and arbitration, a third party “neutral” listens carefully to each party’s issues and concerns, and works with the parties to find common agreement and acceptable resolution of issues.
Mediation, sometimes called collaborative law, seeks mutual solutions that benefit all parties. Mediation is assisted negotiation. It is private and confidential. The mediator facilitates a cooperative resolution of disputes by exploring various alternatives. The parties control the outcome. Generally, mediation reduces costs, resolves disputes more quickly, and leads to better relations between the parties. A good mediator has strong listening and interpersonal skills, sufficient background regarding the issues in dispute to facilitate strategizing by the parties, and experience with conflict resolution to empower the parties during the process.
In arbitration, the parties agree upon a qualified arbitrator, who acts as a private judge. As in mediation, the time, expense and stress of the courthouse are avoided. The arbitrator listens carefully to the parties and weighs the legal and ethical issues. He or she then issues a final decision in favor of one of the parties.
Our philosophy in resolving disputes is to provide expert, impartial, timely and affordable mediation and arbitration to people who need help resolving disputes. The goal is to provide the highest quality professional service and to obtain favorable results so that the parties can move beyond their dispute. This requires a knack for listening to clients’ concerns rather then dictating what should happen. It requires careful consideration of the economics underlying the dispute and the needs of all sides, working with and guiding litigants, lawyers and claims representatives toward settlement by asking the really important questions, which are often highly emotional, and bringing hidden agendas into the open. Most of all, it requires empowering parties to decide the outcome on their own accord, without coercion or pressure.
If you would like help with a mediation or arbitration, contact us at 707.578.0903 or email us.