Litigation is the formal process by which disputes are resolved in courts of law. In recent years, litigation has become increasingly protracted and costly. The costs of litigation include not only the risk of having to pay an award of damages, but also significant attorneys’ fees and time diverted away from a party’s business operations or other interests.
Arbitration and Mediation are two distinct alternatives to litigation. Parties who resort to either of these types of dispute resolution often reach a resolution in a more efficient and less costly manner than with litigation.
Through mediation, the parties meet with an impartial mediator who assists them with negotiating their differences with an eye toward settlement. The parties, with their attorneys, typically meet at one location and participate directly in the negotiations. The parties are ultimately responsible for the result. Approximately 90% of disputes submitted to mediation are settled. Mediation is significantly less expensive and time consuming than litigation.
Arbitration, on the other hand, is a process by which the parties submit their differences to an impartial arbitrator, and the arbitrator makes the ultimate, and usually final and binding decision. The arbitrator will listen to the attorneys for both parties, with the parties present if they desire, and take into consideration any evidence the parties offer and the arbitrator deems pertinent. The arbitrator will make his or her decision after the hearing, much like a judge. The decision can then be filed with the Court and be as enforceable as any other Court decision. Typically, there is no right to appeal from the Arbitrator’s decision.
With our years of experience in business, real estate, health care, employment, and estate planning, the Attorneys at Albers Brown also have the background and good judgment to serve as successful mediators and arbitrators, striving at all times to reach fair results regardless of the dispute.