Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) refers to any method of resolving disputes without litigation. ADR encompasses all processes and techniques of conflict resolution that occur to resolve conflicts short of proceeding all the way through an adjudication or appeal process.
There are different types of alternative dispute resolution and the experienced team at the Federal Practice Group can help you navigate which method is best for your case to achieve the outcome you desire.
Successful ADR programs ensure neutrality, provide a space for mutual education, and encourage the parties themselves, not just their lawyers, to join in the negotiating process. In many cases, ADR allows for quicker resolutions and lower costs than conventional court proceedings.
Mediation is an informal process where the parties come together with the assistance of a mediator, a neutral third party, to help the parties come to a consensus on their own, usually in the form of a settlement agreement.
Rather than imposing a solution or ordering a remedy, a professional mediator works with the conflicting sides to explore the interests underlying their positions. Mediation can be effective at allowing parties to express their feelings and fully explore their grievances. In some cases, judges may order the parties to participate in mediation, while in other instances it may be a voluntary option for the parties to elect.
The attorneys at FPG can represent you during the mediation process to help you develop a settlement strategy and demand, and respond to any offers and counteroffers, until a resolution is reached. We can advise you on the reasonableness of any offers, and work with you to finalize and execute any settlement agreement you may reach through the process.
Arbitration is different from mediation because the neutral arbitrator has the authority to make a decision about the dispute after receiving evidence and hearing arguments. The arbitrator listens as each side argues its case and presents relevant evidence, then renders a binding decision.
The disputants can often negotiate aspects of the arbitration process, including whether lawyers will be present at the time and which standards of evidence will be used, although sometimes the parties agree to rules set out through various entities or pursuant to a contract or other agreement, such as a collective bargaining agreement.
Arbitrators are able to hand down decisions that are usually confidential (as opposed to being a published court decision) and that cannot be appealed except in exceptional circumstances.
Whether you are in need of ADR for an administrative or civil case, the experienced team at Federal Practice Group can help.
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