Going to trial is usually expensive and time consuming. There are alternatives to trial. The alternatives include a variety of options which fall under the heading “Alternative Dispute Resolution” sometimes abbreviated as “ADR.” Parker Schwartz has experienced attorneys who have served as both arbitrators and mediators. Sometimes it makes more sense to resolve a dispute privately rather than going through the time and expense of litigation.
Arbitration is a process where opposing parties hire someone to act as a private judge. The arbitrator will set a hearing and the parties will present their case. Just like in a courtroom, someone wins and someone loses. The arbitrator is just like a judge. He or she will listen to evidence and review exhibits. He or she will take testimony just like in a courtroom. The advantage of arbitration is that it usually can take place more quickly than a trial and can cost less money, even considering the fee charged by the Arbitrator. An additional benefit is that the arbitration can remain confidential, compared to a court hearing, which is open to the public. The Arbitrator’s decision is generally a final order and is not subject to appeal. Arbitration is often a significant benefit in any cross border dispute, such as a breach of an international distribution agreement or other international contract. Arbitration lets the parties determine who will decide their dispute, rather than risk being dragged into a foreign courtroom.
Mediation is a process where opposing parties hire someone to try to assist them in consensually resolving their dispute through agreement. The Mediator will listen to all sides and work with the parties to come to a settlement. Unlike arbitration or a trial, the goal of the Mediator is to find “common ground” and help the parties find a mutually acceptable solution.
In addition to arbitration and mediation, other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution include Med/Arb proceedings, “baseball arbitration”, collaborative law, and game theory resolutions. Our attorneys have experience in drafting alternative dispute resolution provisions into various types of contracts and can advise our clients on the ADR options that may be available in a variety of business or litigation contexts.
Parker Schwartz has attorneys who have been arbitrators and mediators in a variety of areas of the law including family law, bankruptcy, intellectual property and commercial litigation. In addition to serving as neutrals, the attorneys at Parker Schwartz have significant experience in representing parties in various types of Alternative Dispute Resolution proceedings. We can help you resolve your disputes without the time and expense of trial.