Arbitration, Mediation, and Alternative Dispute Resolution
Our Litigation Attorneys are also very experienced in all forms of “Alternative Dispute Resolution”, which primarily consist of Arbitration and Mediation. We have handed many cases in the most common Arbitration and Mediation forums, including the American Arbitration Association, The McGammon Group, JAMS, FINRA, and others. We even have experience finding new forms of alternate dispute resolution, including once convincing a Federal Court Judge to convene a “non-binding summary bench trial” in a pending case, in an effort to cause parties to expensive litigation to align their expectations and find a way to settle their dispute.
Arbitration involves the presentation of conflicting sides of a conflict, and decision by a third-party neutral who issues a binding opinion at the end of the process. This process is very similar to litigation in State and Federal Courts, with some key differences. While any dispute may be submitted for resolution in Arbitration by agreement of the parties, it is most commonly found in cases involving contracts which include “arbitration clauses” in their fine print. Absent agreement by all parties involved, either in the original contract or once the dispute arises, cases usually cannot be submitted to arbitration.
By contrast, Mediation involves the use of a third-party neutral to find ways to bring the opposing sides together to settle their conflict, where that neutral lacks the authority to issue any binding opinions. As with Arbitration, Mediation usually requires voluntary consent from both parties, although some Courts are now moving toward mandatory Mediation in all cases before scheduling a trial date. Mediation can be, and often is, used in both Arbitration and Litigation.
While the rules and procedures are different from Litigation (which is conducted in State and Federal Courts), the overall concept behind Arbitration and Mediation is the same as with litigation; finding a resolution to a problem that has become an impasse for the parties.
Having a thorough understanding the processes involved, and the differences among them, helps our attorneys craft the most advantageous strategy and approach on behalf of our clients. Often, the differences in the applicable procedures and rules can shape the best approach on behalf of a client, and an experienced advocate is critically important.
Having experienced counsel to assist you with these processes is crucial. While any attorney can represent you in these proceedings, at GCPC we leverage our experience and familiarity in these forums to your advantage.