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Mediation

Mediation is one of the two most common forms of ADR. This is the process in which a neutral or impartial third party mediates communication between negotiating parties, thereby allowing the parties to reach a settlement. The mediators involved are individuals trained in negotiations that bring opposing parties together and attempt to work out a settlement or agreement that both parties accept or reject. Unlike an arbitrator, a mediator has no authority to impose a settlement or decide the law or facts. Rather, the mediator helps the parties define the issues, understand each others' perspective, and generate options for settlement.


Settlement Conference

A settlement conference is a process by which a neutral and impartial legal professional hears both sides of the case and conducts an informal assessment and negotiation session. Then they may advise the parties on the law and precedent relating to the dispute and suggest a settlement. As with mediators, this legal profession has not authority to impose settlement or decide the law.


Arbitration

Arbitration is the second of the two most common forms of ADR. This is the process by which a neutral third party (the arbitrator) hears and considers the arguments of the parties involved in the dispute and makes a decision based upon the law and the facts. At its best, arbitration provides a simplified and economical procedure for obtaining a prompt and equitable resolution of the dispute. Arbitration can be both binding and non-binding depending on the situation and court review is usually quite limited. Arbitration has long been used in labor, construction, and securities regulation, but is now gaining popularity in other business disputes.

What are some other ADR services that are available?

  • Conduction of settlement conferences for parties in litigation

  • Offering training in mediation, arbitration, facilitation or conflict management

  • Provides dispute resolution services for groups and organizations

  • Can act as a judge for a mini-trial

By Elysse Kimberlin           


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