Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Services
General Overview/What It Is:
Arbitration is a standard form of alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) wherein an independent third party (the “arbitrator”) makes a private determination over a dispute between parties (sometimes referred to as the “arbitration reward/decision”) upon the conclusion of an arbitration hearing. In contrast to mediation which is advisory in nature, arbitration has an adjudicatory function, and, upon prior agreement of the parties involved, the arbitration decision rendered can be final / binding / enforceable, subject only to limited judicial/court review.
Why Arbitration?/Advantages of Arbitration:
Arbitration may be an appealing and attractive option method of dispute resolution to parties who seek to privately resolve business/commercial disputes outside of court. Arbitration offers a number of advantages over traditional judicial proceedings. Some of the more common advantages include the following:
You Chose Your Decision Maker
In contrast to litigation where parties cannot choose what judge will preside over your case, arbitration allows parties to choose their own independent third party/tribunal to hear and decide on the case. This is especially beneficial when the subject matter of the dispute is especially technical or highly specialized, as the parties can choose an arbitrator(s) with an appropriate degree of expertise.
Efficiency of the Process
The arbitration process, from beginning to end, is generally much faster than typical litigation in court. This efficiency is simple to explain: court proceedings occur before judges with very busy docket schedules and very limited availability, whereas the retention of a private arbitrator can more readily accommodate a more expedient process to bring finality to your dispute.
Privacy and Confidentiality
In contrast to court proceedings, arbitration hearings, meetings and decisions are non-public and can remain confidential.
Arbitration hearings are arranged at times and places to suit the parties, arbitrators and witnesses, whereas parties have very limited control on when their case will reach a courtroom in general court litigation.
The procedures can be segmented, streamlined or simplified, according to the circumstances and the desires of the parties.
The parties can agree that the arbitration decision will be final. If they do, there are very limited avenues to appeal, which brings faster closure to your dispute. This may be beneficial as it limits the duration of the dispute and any potential associated liability.
The Arbitration Process:
Although parties involved in a dispute can agree to arbitrate at any time, most arbitration is driven by a pre-dispute contract entered into between the parties, in which they agree that if a dispute should arise, it will never get into the court system. By agreeing to arbitration, parties waive their rights to a trial by jury. After binding arbitration, there is no option to have a second trial conducted by a court. Unless otherwise agreed, an arbitration decision is generally legally binding and non- appealable.
Generally speaking, an arbitrator is an impartial third party chosen by the parties to determine liability. The arbitrator will review relevant evidence and hear testimony in order to render an opinion on liability and damages (the arbitration “award”) after the hearing. Once confirmed by a court of appropriate jurisdiction, the award can be subsequently entered as a judgment.
General Overview/What It Is:
Mediation is a process wherein a neutral third-party intermediary (the “mediator”) assists parties involved in a dispute in negotiating their differences in order to reach a mutually agreeable settlement for their dispute. In mediation, the ultimate decision authority is left solely to the parties involved in the dispute. Unlike arbitrators in an arbitration, the mediator does not act as a decisionmaker and does not render a decision determining liability or fault between the parties. Instead, the mediator will guide the parties in effective communication in order to avoid confrontation and to, hopefully, assist the parties in working together to come to a mutually agreeable settlement.
The Mediator’s Role
Unlike an arbitrator or a judge, a mediator is not a decision-making authority and therefore does not assess liability between the parties. Rather, a mediator’s role is to assist the parties to communicate effectively in an effort to reach a settlement of their dispute.
Mediation generally begins with a joint session wherein the issues and positions between the parties are discussed in an open forum and an agenda for the process is set. The joint session is typically followed by separate private caucuses between the mediator and each individual party and their counsel (if any). This provides an opportunity for each party to discuss their respective position, goals, and ask the mediator questions individually and confidentially.
Advantages of Mediation:
Mediation is non-binding procedure and is controlled by the parties
Parties to a mediation are not required to accept an outcome they do not like. Further, even when parties have agreed to submit a dispute to mediation, the parties are permitted to abandon the mediation process at any time after the first meeting if they decide that continuation does not serve their best interests.
Mediation is a confidential procedure
Except in limited instances where required or permitted by law, mediation is a confidential process which allows parties to negotiate openly, without the fear of publicity or unwanted disclosure. In mediation, the parties are permitted to keep information confidential and cannot be compelled to disclose any information they would like to keep private. If confidential information is disclosed in the process of encouraging dispute resolution, that information will generally remain confidential and will not be released to any third parties, or in any subsequent court litigation or arbitration outside the context of the mediation. Accordingly, because mediation is non- binding and confidential, it involves minimal risk for the parties and generates significant benefits.
Mediation is an interest-based procedure
Because mediation provides for an open dialogue wherein parties are free to express their interests and desires, mediation often results in settlements that improve the overall future relationships between parties and their respective business ventures.
CLG ADR Services & Attorneys
CLG offers individualized, top tier alternative dispute resolution services. CLG’s highly trained mediators and arbitrators bring years of unparalleled experience and knowledge with them to the dispute resolution services they provide. CLG’s attorneys work one-on-one with clients to develop customized dispute resolution services to resolve any business or legal conflicts efficiently and effectively.
ALEXANDER D. BROWN
Mr. Brown is highly knowledgeable and experienced in alternative dispute resolution. He serves as both and arbotratror and mediator, and has been integral in resolving many high stakes pieces of litigation. Parties to mediation with Mr. Brown oftentimes comment on his skill to resolve cases that are otherwise viewed as “unresolvable.” Mr. Brown’s years of experience serving as both a trial attorney and appellate lawyer provide him with invaluable knowledge and insight to contribute to each dispute he oversees, and it also affords him an edge to assisting his own clients when involved in mediation and arbitration as an advocate. Mr. Brown has successfully assisted clients to resolve disputes through mediation and arbitration in a number of cases, and has helped secure millions of dollars for his clients in the process.
Scott Smiley, an adjunct Professor of Law at Nova Southeastern University, brings years of invaluable knowledge and expertise with him to alternative dispute resolution. Mr. Smiley is an experienced patent attorney, and ADR service provider. Mr. Smiley has successfully assisted numerous clients negotiate favorable settlements and outcomes in a variety of cases, and has been integral in securing millions of dollars in settlements for his clients. Mr. Smiley is a certified mediator for civil disputes and has mediated many cases to assist parties to resolve their difference through creative solutions.
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