Dispute Resolution and Associated Rates
Mediation is a type of “Alternative Dispute Resolution” or “ADR.” The mediator, as a neutral, acts as a facilitator, reconciler, and educator, interpreter in a dispute between or among various parties to litigation or some dispute. The mediator has a responsibility to the parties in trying to get the parties to reach an agreement in a voluntary and informed manner.
Mediations are confidential to the extent agreed to by the parties, and materials developed for a mediation are not admissible in a later proceeding, except as agreed to, in writing, by the parties.
A mediation typically begins with the mediator’s opening, after which the parties and issues are identified, statements are made by each party and/or their counsel. After further discussions, sometimes made privately to the mediator with the consent of all the parties, issues and points are clarified, generating further discussions and options for resolution.
Successful mediation can save the parties time, money, anxiety, and sleepless nights because it can resolve the conflict before trial, which might be years away.
Arbitration, another type of ADR, means that the parties agree to submit the issues to a neutral arbitrator for a decision. The arbitration can be binding or non-binding, per the agreement of the parties. The arbitration is similar to a bench trial or judge trial in court but without the formalities and rules of evidence and procedures that apply to a court trial.
Arbitrations can be a very cost-effective way of resolving disputes before an actual trial.
There are circumstances where a party to a lawsuit would want to have a mock trial before the actual trial of a case. The parties might also agree to a summary or abbreviated trial before a retired judge, with or without a jury.
Having an experienced trial judge preside over such proceedings gives the parties and their clients a look at what could happen through a practice run.