Legal disputes do not always result in a trial in front of a jury. Many cases end up in front of an arbitration panel or are settled during mediation. Each alternate dispute resolution procedure comes with its own challenges, and the lawyers at Patout, Law, & Shaw, PLLC have experience as mediators, arbitrators, and zealously representing clients who are a party to a dispute.
Mediation is a private, informal proceeding where the parties will meet before a neutral third person (the mediator), who helps the parties discuss and try to resolve the dispute. The parties have the opportunity to describe the issues, discuss their interests, understandings, and feelings; provide each other with information and explore ideas for the resolution of the dispute. The mediator does not have the power to make a decision for the parties, but can help the parties find a resolution that is mutually acceptable. The only people who can resolve the dispute in mediation are the parties themselves.
In comparison, arbitration is similar to a trial in that the parties make opening statements and present evidence to the arbitrator or arbitration panel, who has the authority to make a final, binding decision about the dispute. After the hearing, the arbitrator issues an award which, if binding, can be enforced by a court and can only be appealed under very narrow circumstances. Arbitration can be an informal process where the parties can agree on an arbitrator and what rules apply, or can follow preset rules and procedures promulgated by a third-party organization such as the American Arbitration Association or JAMS (formally known as Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services).
There are also other types of alternate dispute resolution processes such as summary/mini trials, neutral evaluations, hybrid mediation/arbitration proceedings, and settlement conferences; each with their own procedures, rules, and challenges, all of which Patout, Law, & Shaw, PLLC is ready to help guide and advise clients to achieve the best results. Whether our clients need representation in an ADR proceeding or need a mediator, arbitration, or neutral third-party the evaluate the case, the attorneys with Patout, Law & Shaw, PLLC have the knowledge, skill, and experience to ensure the best result through zealous advocacy, developing decisive solutions to the often complex issues in alternate dispute resolution proceedings.