Is Your Case Right For Mediation or Arbitration?

Deciding whether litigate your case through the court system or to use an alternate form of resolution is not something to be decided lightly. When opposing parties are locked in a dispute, the manner in which negotiations are conducted can exacerbate the conflict which can result in more time, money, and resources being wasted.  When interactions between the parties become contentious, it can inflame emotions, creating a vicious cycle that pits the parties against one another.

But dispute resolution does not have to be a win-lose situation. Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) in the form of mediation or arbitration may actually lower the temperature on a heated dispute and may prime the parties to be open to offers, compromise, and ultimately, resolution. Even the New York State court system says that ADR is “generally confidential, less formal, and less stressful than traditional court proceedings,” and that “ADR often saves money and speeds settlement.”

What Kinds of Matters Are Suitable for ADR?

Not sure if ADR is right for you? Here are some of the kinds of matters that ADR can help resolve:

  1. Divorce
    Mediation is an excellent option for partners who no longer want to remain married, but who want to settle amicably with an outcome that is fair to both parties. This is even more important when there are children involved. Controlling the pace, promoting a sense of civility, and staying out of court can promote a positive family dynamic at significantly less expense.
  2. Personal Injury/Medical Malpractice
    Whenever a person is injured as result of someone else’s negligence, inattention, or incompetence, the stress, when added to the physical health issues, can be overwhelming. Often, the injured party must wait years for a settlement or trial.  Choosing mediation or arbitration instead of lengthy litigation through the courts can help reach a settlement when their counsel have reached an impasse. 
  3. Business Disputes
     It is not uncommon for businesses that were created or nurtured by two or more parties to dissolve or for the partners or owners to divide the business between them. When this occurs, there may be a disagreement about the best way to go about the process. Mediation can be an extremely effective tool to help the owners develop a plan for the dissolution or separation by keeping the matter private, and preserving the relationship between the parties, and enabling the business to survive.
  4. Property Disputes
    Whether you have a disagreement with a neighbor over property lines, a question about who is responsible for repairs, who is at fault for damage to your property, or issues involving zoning, mediation or arbitration may be an effective way of resolving those disputes so that the conflict doesn’t escalate.
  5. Estate or Surrogate’s Court Matters
    When you have a dispute with a friend or family member over a loved one’s estate, using a neutral mediator who is familiar with the laws surrounding the issue, but who is also experienced in resolving matters amicably between the parties can help you come to a resolution without destroying important relationships in the process.

These are just a few of the kinds of cases that can be resolved through mediation or arbitration. The decision to choose an alternate form of resolution can be a game changer for the parties in both the process and outcome of the case.

Remember that while arbitration might be required based on an earlier agreement between the parties (for example, where arbitration is required by the terms of a contract), mediation must be agreed upon by both parties, and both parties must agree to the mediator or neutral who will hear the case.

If you’d like to mediate or arbitrate your case with us, submit your request here. Or search for a mediator who is right for your case here.

If you want to learn more about mediation or arbitration, you might be interested in these articles:

Arbitration Basics with Lauren Wachtler

Why Should You Consider Mediation?

The Benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution

Mediation vs. Arbitration: What’s the Difference?