ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
Arbitration & Mediation
We specialize in ADR for the construction sector
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is the procedure for settling disputes without litigation, such as arbitration, and mediation. ADR procedures are collaborative, creative, prompt and private.
Arbitration holds legal force and courts don’t interfere once a hearing has been ordered or an arbiter chosen. Unlike in mediation, the neutral third party has legal authority to make a decision to resolve the dispute that both parties must then abide by.
In an arbitration hearing, both parties have the ability to present evidence and arguments and provide witness testimony to the arbitrator or panel of arbitrators. In this way, it’s a formal process that shares more similarities with a judicial hearing. It is governed by rules of procedure similar to the rules in court. If the arbitration is through an administered program they have a similar set of procedural rules governing the conduct of the process.
Similar to mediation, arbitration involves the use of a neutral third party to hear a dispute. The hearing is private and confidential, and the disputing parties have the ability to choose their arbiter or arbiters. In arbitration, parties generally choose either one arbiter or three. Also similar to mediation, the action can be used to resolve a conflict without resorting to expensive and time-consuming legal proceedings.
Mediation is defined as a process where a neutral third party helps the individuals work through a conflict and find an appropriate solution that serves everyone’s needs. Mediation may take one session or it may require several, depending on factors such as the number of parties involved, the complexity of the dispute, and the willingness of the participants to work through the conflict with the mediator.
A mediation session is non-binding, and the mediator does not make a decision. Neither party has to necessarily agree to anything by the end of mediation; rather, the goals are generally to help both sides resolve or discuss a conflict in a healthy, safe, confidential manner. A mediator is the facilitator of the dialogue and helps both sides discuss difficult subjects. Unlike in arbitration, the parties make their own decision regarding the dispute, and the neutral third party is only there to assist. But it is important to note that if the parties make a decision in mediation and that decision is memorialized in an agreement that they sign or incorporated into a document filed in court, then such an agreement is legally binding and valid.
Mediation can be ordered by a court, as with arbitration, and the court can appoint a mediator if the parties can’t choose or agree between themselves on an appropriate individual.
Mediation do prove to be successful, and is worth the attempt as the process is less costly, less time-consuming, and less stressful than litigation.