Two common alternatives to conventional litigation are mediation and arbitration. Both forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) can be used in conjunction with litigation. The distinction between the two is simple: A mediator (most often a former judge) helps people reach an agreement, while an arbitrator issues a binding ruling. Generally, personal injury lawsuits are resolved in court. It may be advisable and beneficial for both parties to submit the dispute to mediation at the appropriate time in litigation.
During mediation, the parties agree to meet with a neutral third party. The mediator, who is professionally trained to resolve disputes, listens to the arguments made by both parties and directs his or her efforts to find common ground. Mediators may also offer suggestions as to how to resolve a dispute. Mediators help achieve consensus by providing a neutral, unbiased evaluation of the situation, which can help resolve seemingly intractable disputes.
Because mediation is typically voluntary, the parties involved retain control over how the mediation is conducted. Instead of having courts determine when and where meetings are held, who is involved, and other variables, the parties in litigation or dispute can make these decisions. The judge selected by both parties devotes his or her energies to obtaining a mediated resolution short of a full-blown jury trial. There are times when this may be deemed advisable for both parties, given the stakes involved.
At our law firm, we have experienced and versed mediator attorneys who are willing and ready to take on your case. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation.