Arbitration & Mediation

Arbitration and mediation are forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).  Parties will use these methods to resolve their disputes as an alternative to going to court.  Such methods are seen as a less costly way of resolving issues than having to go to trial.  Attorneys at Ballard & Littlefield, LLP, have many years of experience representing business clients in arbitration and mediation proceedings, often in matters involving employment and business litigation. 

Arbitration

In an arbitration proceeding, a neutral third party, often a licensed attorney or judge, reviews the issues and facts of the case with the parties and issues a decision.  The arbitration can be non-binding or binding.  Non-binding arbitration allows the parties to evaluate the merits of their case through an informal hearing with the procedural processes of arbitration without the finality of a binding arbitration award.  On the other hand, in binding arbitration, the arbitrators will issue a binding decision, which can only be appealed to a court for extremely limited judicial review.

The advantages of arbitration are that it is a more expedient and less costly way of resolving a case than having to try a case in court.  Some businesses are required to arbitrate their cases because there will be arbitration clauses in contractual agreements, mandating arbitration in the event of a dispute.  However, not all cases are appropriate for arbitration.  Some cases involve such complex, difficult issues that they have to be litigated in the courtroom.    

Mediation

Mediation is another method of ADR, but it differs from arbitration in that it is informal, confidential, and the neutral third party, called a mediator, does not issue a decision.  During mediations, the parties have the opportunity of discussing their interests and concerns face-to-face with a mediator.  The mediator acts as a facilitator, assisting the parties to resolve their dispute by having them communicate with each other.  If the parties are unable to resolve their case through mediation, then the parties may have to consider taking the case to trial.

Additionally, mediations can be voluntary or court-mandated.  This means that parties can choose to resolve their case through mediation, or the judge can order mediation for the parties, as an alternative to trial. 

Having an experienced attorney who is familiar with arbitrations and mediations is essential.  An attorney can help ensure that your rights and interests are protected during these proceedings.  The attorneys of Ballard & Littlefield, LLP are very experienced, having handled many arbitrations and mediations.  If you own a business and need legal representation in an arbitration or mediation proceeding, contact the law firm of Ballard & Littlefield, LLP today for a consultation.



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