Emphasizing Advocacy for Alternative Dispute Resolution
Cost-effective results through mediation and arbitration
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) — especially the arbitration process — is a frequently overlooked method of promptly and efficiently solving commercial disputes and other legal disagreements. ADR provides a number of valuable benefits over traditional litigation: privacy and confidentiality along with potentially swifter resolutions, and reduced litigation costs. Coolidge Wall attorneys enthusiastically advocate ADR when appropriate for our clients. We make sure that we advise our clients when ADR may be beneficial to their cases and frequently represent businesses and individuals in arbitration and mediation.
Resolution through mediation
In almost every case, litigation involves a heavy dose of negotiation by both sides. When parties get close to a resolution but cannot quite bridge the gap, the fresh perspective of a neutral third party – one that isn’t serving as the judge in the matter- can be the answer. Mediation is a supervised negotiation process in which both parties present the strengths of their cases to a neutral mediator who serves as an intermediary. Mediation allows the parties to preserve confidentiality and arrive at a mutually agreeable solution, rather than the all-or-nothing approach of conventional litigation. Because it is less adversarial than an arbitration hearing or trial, mediation can also allow the parties to better preserve their relationship and avoid the hard feelings that more contentious proceedings can bring.
The arbitration solution
Arbitration more closely resembles traditional litigation but often provides the benefits of being faster, less expensive, and confidential. In an arbitration hearing, both parties present evidence to one or more arbitrators — usually respected lawyers, former judges, and the like – that act as both judge and jury and ultimately issue an award that is binding upon both parties. Arbitration is more formal and contentious than mediation but can be less expensive than a trial in court. These benefits have made arbitration an accepted vehicle for resolving all manner of contested issues, including:
Many businesses prefer arbitration precisely because arbitration proceedings are private. In complex or technical cases, the parties often have the option of choosing arbitrators with subject matter expertise that surpasses the expertise that would be available in court from a judge or a jury.