Disputes are a part of our lives, in both the personal and professional arenas. Many are aware of alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation as options for divorcing couples, but they are also powerful tools in the areas of administrative, health care, government, and employment law.
As a business owner, you experience conflicts with competitors, vendors, or even your own employees. Healthcare providers are subjected to disagreements over their scope of practice, or licensing requirements. If you have a conflict that cannot be resolved without professional help, an expensive and lengthy public trial is not your only option. Mediation and arbitration are shorter, more efficient paths to legal dispute resolution.
Is Mediation An Option For You?
In the process of mediation, a mediator facilitates the course of solving your dispute on your own. He or she offers his or her skills and experience as a non-judgemental guide in helping both parties come to a mutually satisfying resolution. Instead of the battleground that a trial can become, mediation helps all parties reach an agreement in an environment that is collaborative and supportive.
You may still wish to have your own attorney when participating in the mediation process. Some communication with the mediator will occur with the opposing party present, and some will be in individual sessions. A written final decision will be signed by both parties. Mediation does require an investment of both time and money, but it ends disputes with less pain, time, and cost than a traditional trial.
When Should You Consider Arbitration?
If mediation fails, you still may be able to avoid the courtroom. Arbitration is a lot like a trial but without a jury and the formalities of court: Both parties present their cases, with representation from their counsel, and a neutral party adjudicates the dispute, rendering a decision.
Arbitration can be binding or nonbinding:
- Binding arbitration means the decision made by the arbitrator is final and binding. It cannot be overruled by a judge, and it dismisses or avoids a related lawsuit.
- Nonbinding arbitration leaves the parties with the option to finally take the dispute to litigation.
Arbitration can be more flexible in both process and evidence than a formal trial. It is also quicker, private, and more informal than a jury- or bench-trial.
Simas & Associates’ Alternative Dispute Resolution Services
If you have determined that mediation or arbitration are the methods you would like to pursue, how do you find qualified help to guide you through the process? Whether you are looking for an attorney to serve as your mediator or to represent you in an arbitration hearing, experienced counsel is a valuable asset throughout the alternative dispute resolution process.
The attorneys of Simas & Associates have an extensive background in providing ADR services throughout the state of California. They have advised the Executive and Legislative branches of the state of California, and have conducted fee arbitration services for the State Bar of California.
If your dispute is the complex worlds of healthcare or business, look for an attorney with involvement in those industries.
- Simas & Associates Founder Steven L. Simas has focused his practice on administrative, healthcare, government, and employment law. Mr. Simas is a qualified hearing officer for the California Society of Healthcare Attorneys, and has served as a Deputy Attorney General.
- Simas & Associates managing attorney Justin D. Hein brings personal experience to practicing administrative, employment and labor, licensing, and advertising law, as well as contracts and agreements.
Avoiding Litigation with Mediation and Arbitration Services
The advantages to engaging in alternative dispute resolution tactics like mediation and arbitration are numerous. Some are obvious: you save money, time, and even your reputation by avoiding a trial. There are less obvious benefits as well, such as the reduction in stress you feel when a difficult situation is finally resolved. Consult your counsel for advice on these alternative methods when you encounter a conflict that requires a legally binding resolution.