Outside traditional lawsuits and courtrooms there is another way to resolve disputes which is less hassle for all the parties involved. These two are generally known as mediation or arbitration, and is a form of alternative dispute resolution.
This way of conflict resolution saves everyone time, money and energy, not to mention the stress of a long drawn out court-room battle. There are some typical cases where this kind of alternative dispute resolution methods can be used. They are mainly in cases of accident or personal injury, divorce and the resulting child custody disputes, visitation rights related to custody and divorce, commercial and business agreements, consumer complaints etc, complaints that might be against brokerage and financial companies, commercial and business disputes, minor criminal matters, disputes that might happen between a tenant and landlord, etc.
Mediation or arbitration is conducted by an arbitration act lawyer who is also termed as the mediator or arbitrator and in special cases if more than one lawyer is involved, it is called a panel. These lawyers have to be objective and neutral and they should not have any interest in the outcome of the proceeding other than looking after the interest of the client. In most cases the mediators are retired judges, or lawyers who get paid by the hour by the clients involved in the disputes. Private ADR or Alternative dispute Resolution Company is used to proceed through the process of arbitration or mediation. The private offices of the lawyer are used for the counseling or meeting sessions, where the matters are discussed at length. The courthouse is not involved in such arbitration cases so that it can be truly said that these are matters that are settled out of court. Commitment to follow the mediation or company’s arbitration rules is generally sealed with an agreement that is signed in the office of the lawyer or typically the Private ADR office.
Though the two words “arbitration” and “mediation” sounds more or less the same, they have different connotations. They mean different things. Whereas arbitration is final and binding, mediation is not like that and if the parties involved in the dispute cannot come to an agreement then in mediation nothing us actually resolved. The procedures of both these exercises vary in which arbitration is more like actually going to the court and attend a mini trial, whereas in mediation the parties habitually meet first with the negotiator to explain their positions. It is the job of an arbitration act lawyer to go through the evidences and lend a patient ear to the witnesses to come to a fair and just decision. Here the lawyer is both the jury and the private judge and the decision taken the lawyer is often termed as an “award”.
Once the disputes are settled, the parties are asked to sign an agreement which is final and binding and is treated as a “settlement agreement”. The award of the arbitrator or the arbitration act lawyer is final and may not be open to appeal. They are more or less like a court judgment subjected to enforcement under New York’s Civil Practice Law and Rules’ article 75. Therefore, arbitration is an easy and inexpensive method to solve disputes without attracting a lot of attention or spending a lot of money, where the dispute is settled peacefully where both the parties agree to the solution and go home satisfied. There is none of the stress involved that is usually associated with court proceedings and it is a fast way to resolve a dispute. The result is usually final and quick, and the case can thus rest.
Author: Jeo Nash