Alternative Dispute Resolution Services
At their most basic, mediation and arbitration are alternative means by which parties to what is, or what would be, litigation in the Courts, can resolve their disputes. As a mediator, attorney John R. Foley applies his 34 years and wealth of practical firsthand experience and education to explain to parties the likely results of litigation and the benefits of settlement, and to help negotiate a fair and just agreed-upon settlement between the parties. As an arbitrator, Mr. Foley applies that same experience to make fair and just binding decisions on either specific case issues, or a complete resolution to a given dispute. Mr. Foley ensures that both parties are afforded the chance to explain their case in detail, and argue the merits of their claims and defenses, a setting that is far less formal and stressful that trial in Court.
Mediation (sometimes called “facilitation”) is an informal dispute settlement process. Mediation is intended to bring two parties together to clear up misunderstandings, find out concerns, and reach a resolution. The process is voluntary, although it may be urged by the Court During the mediation, each side will present its view of the issue, and the mediator will work with each side in a caucus to attempt to work out a settlement. At the end of the process, the mediator can present his or her findings and present a potential solution to the issue. The mediation process, unlike arbitration, is non-binding; that is, the mediator does not impose a decision on the parties, but he/she attempts to present a solution that is acceptable to both parties. Mediation can be used in divorces, real estate, bankruptcy litigation, labor bargaining, and almost all forms of civil dispute. Unlike arbitration, mediation is not binding on the parties.
Arbitration is the process of bringing a dispute before a disinterested third party (the “arbitrator”) for resolution. The arbitrator hears the evidence brought by both sides and makes a decision. Generally speaking, that decision is binding on the parties. Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), used in place of trial before a judge or jury; so as to save the cost and time of going to court. Arbitration is binding. In arbitration, the parties agree that the ruling of the Arbitrator will be controlling, whether or not one party is happy or unhappy with the result. Arbitration is often confused with mediation, which is an informal process of bringing in a third party who goes between the disputing parties to help them settle a dispute. Unlike mediation, arbitration is binding on the parties.