Alternative Dispute Resolution: Arbitration and Mediation

ADR Lawyer in New York

Arbitration: Not every lawsuit or trial is heard in court. Today, many contracts require that disputes between or among the contracting parties cannot be decided in court but must be resolved by a private arbitration proceeding, paid for by the parties.  In a typical arbitration, the case is heard and decided either by one arbitrator (the “judge” in the proceeding) or a panel of three arbitrators; there is no jury, usually no appeal is permitted and there is a limited right to challenge the arbitration decision in court. Mediation: In contrast to an arbitration decision, which is usually binding on the parties, a mediation is a non-binding and often single day proceeding.

The goal of a mediation is to enable the parties to discuss and negotiate their dispute with the guidance of an unbiased neutral party (the mediator), whose primary focus should be to try to help the parties resolve or settle their dispute.  A mediation can be held before or in conjunction with a court lawsuit or an arbitration proceeding. 

Mediations are being used more and more frequently by all sides as a tool to bring a swifter, more efficient and less costly resolution to a dispute or legal proceeding. Some contracts even require the parties to try to resolve their disputes first at a mediation before a lawsuit or arbitration proceeding can be commenced. Some courts also mandate mediations as a way to settle certain lawsuits and appoint a mediator from an approved roster to at least take a stab at settling the case.       

If you are confronted with an arbitration or mediation and want to discuss it with a commercial litigation attorney with experience representing businesses and individuals before judges, arbitrators and mediators, please contact Larry Sass of the Law Offices of Laurence J. Sass.

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