Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) refers to a number of methods that may be preferable to litigation depending upon the factors present in each unique situation. ADR can be faster and less expensive than litigation, help to maintain important business relationships, and yield a better result overall than litigation. However, ADR is not for every party or every situation. At The Jacobs Law LLC, our experienced business litigation attorneys evaluate every case for the best means of dispute resolution to accomplish your goals. We are versed in many different forms of ADR and will work within any structure to provide you with the best advice and representation in your business dispute. Popular forms of ADR we often undertake include arbitration, mediation and negotiation.
More like a trial than other forms of ADR, in an arbitration each party presents its case to a trained neutral, who may be a practicing attorney, retired judge, or an experienced business professional with knowledge and expertise in the particular field at issue in the case. The arbitrator controls the admission of evidence, listens to testimony from witnesses, reviews exhibits and hears arguments from each party’s lawyers. The arbitrator then drafts a decision, which may be binding or non-binding depending on the arbitration agreement entered into by the parties.
Presenting a complex or technical case to an arbitrator with experience in the field is often preferable to presenting the same case to a judge or jury. The time required to prepare and present the case may go quicker, and the result may be more relevant to the parties. Also, the parties get to choose the date for the arbitration hearing rather than being subject to the calendar and docket of an overworked and understaffed court system. An arbitration is also private, and its proceedings and results can be kept confidential, in contrast to a public trial.
A binding arbitration leaves little room for either party to appeal the decision. If the arbitration is non-binding, the parties leave the arbitration with a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of their case, which can help them better prepare for trial or settlement. Other ADR methods similar to arbitration include mini-trials and private judging.
In mediation, the neutral third party serves more as a facilitator than a decision-maker. The role of the mediator is to help the parties communicate and understand each other’s positions, as well as the interests behind those positions. At the end of a successful mediation, the parties conclude an agreement that addresses the outstanding issues between them.
Mediation is nearly always faster and cheaper than litigation, and it offers many other advantages as well. By keeping the parties involved in the decision-making process, the outcome of a mediation is more likely to address the needs of both parties, as opposed to a judicially-imposed result which often results in one winner and one loser. A mediated result is therefore more likely to be voluntarily implemented by both parties, without either side appealing the result or needing to go to court to enforce compliance.
Mediation is voluntary and nonbinding. If the mediation fails, the parties may still proceed to court, but with a better understanding of the interests and positions of each party. The mediation may also be partially successful and narrow the issues left for litigation. Like arbitration, mediation is also conducted in a private setting.
The Jacobs Law attorneys are experienced negotiators capable of representing you at the table and working out a settlement that protects your rights and addresses all of your needs and goals. Sometimes parties are better able to work out a deal without the added pressure of a mediator to give in to particular demands or push to settle in a short time frame that might not be conducive to a productive settlement. A mutual agreement reached through negotiation is likely to be beneficial and satisfactory to both parties, and the resulting agreement is binding and enforceable in court if needed.
A negotiated settlement may be particularly valuable when the parties to the dispute need to maintain an ongoing personal or professional relationship. Negotiations are private and need not negatively impact the business reputation of other party.
Let Us Help You Find the Best Method to Resolve Your Business Dispute
For the most economical and effective resolution of your business dispute, choose an attorney or law firm with experience in all facets of negotiation, mediation, arbitration and litigation. In Boston, choose The Jacobs Law LLC to resolve your business matter.