Arbitration and Mediation
Your time and resources are precious. If you have a business or personal
dispute, you may not want to engage in full-blown litigation to get it
resolved. At Owens and Perkins, our Attorneys have extensive experience
in alternative dispute resolution.
The most common alternative dispute resolution procedures are Arbitration
and Mediation or the hybrid "Med-Arb". These procedures can
save you a great deal of time, money and stress compared to traditional
litigation while making sure your rights are protected.
Arbitration is when the parties to a dispute agree to have a neutral third
party (usually an experienced lawyer or former judge) hear the dispute
and make a decision. The parties can either agree that the result of the
decision-maker is final (binding arbitration) or they can reserve the
right to appeal the result of the arbitration (non-binding arbitration).
Arbitration is less formal than a trial, but still makes sure that an
impartial decision-maker hears and decides the case.
Mediation is when the Mediator, a neutral third party, meets with the parties
and their attorneys to attempt to resolve the dispute. Mediation is particularly
useful in commercial disputes where the factual issues are more prominent
than the legal issues. The Mediator's job is to facilitate the mediation
and the exchange of information and of ideas to resolve the dispute. At
the end of a successful mediation, the parties will resolve the dispute
and enter into a binding Settlement Agreement. This Settlement Agreement
is enforceable in court.
Some of the benefits of Mediation are:
The parties maintain control over the matter and can craft an extremely
detailed agreement that they would probably never obtain in court. Mediations
can be scheduled at the parties convenience and are usually conducted
in one long session or a few shorter sessions. Mediations are rarely subject
to the long drawn-out process of court hearings and a trial.
A successful Mediation allows the parties to move on and save time, money
and stress. A successful Mediation also allows the parties to return to
what is important - their business.
The less well-known method of alternative dispute resolution process is
Med-Arb. Med-Arb is the process where the parties agree upon a neutral
third party to first act as the Mediator of their dispute. If the parties
cannot reach an agreement on some or all of the issues presented, the
parties agree in advance that the Mediator will then act as Arbitrator
and decide the outcome of the unresolved issues. This method of alternative
dispute resolution combines the benefits of both Arbitration and Mediation
and will likely keep growing in popularity.
Most Arizona Courts require the parties to attempt some form of alternative
dispute resolution prior to allowing a trial to go forward. As a result,
it is important to have an Attorney who is experienced in these forums,
as well as litigation.
If you are interested in contracting Owens and Perkins regarding Arbitration,
Mediation or Med-Arb,