If you are involved in a New York commercial litigation dispute, you may choose to resolve your claim through the traditional route of a courtroom trial, or you may choose an alternative means of dispute resolution. The two most common forms of alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) are mediation and arbitration. In comparison to a trial, both arbitration and mediation offer the advantages of being quicker, more efficient, and more cost-effective. There are, though, distinct differences between these two forms of ADR.
Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution that is similar to a trial in many respects: the parties present evidence, make legal arguments, and may even call witnesses. The case is heard by a neutral decision-maker called an “arbitrator.”
In most instances, a knowledgeable New York commercial litigation attorney will serve as the arbitrator. When all the evidence has been presented, the arbitrator will make a ruling in the case. Depending on the complexity of the case, the arbitrator may issue a ruling immediately, or may take the matter under advisement and issue a written ruling some time later. The arbitrator’s decision may be binding or non-binding; if it is non-binding, then the losing party still is able to take his claim to trial.
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution in which the parties engage in intense settlement negotiations, facilitated by a neutral third party (a “mediator”). Unlike a trial judge or arbitrator, the mediator does not make a final decision in the case; rather, it is up to the parties, with the help of the mediator, to reach an agreement through compromise and cooperation.
Mediation usually takes place in a set of conference rooms, in a neutral location. The mediation begins with all parties and their attorneys in the same room. Each party gives the mediator a brief overview of his or her side of the case, and then the parties move to separate rooms. The mediator shuttles back and forth between the parties, passing along offers and counteroffers, and offering his opinions, suggestions and counsel. A successful mediation concludes with the parties outlining the terms of a tentative settlement agreement.
Contact the Experienced New York Commercial Litigation Lawyers at Hiller, PC
If you would like to learn more about how to resolve your case without the need for full-blown litigation and a trial, call Hiller, PC – Attorneys at Law at (877) 784-7876. Our experienced New York commercial litigation lawyers can review your case, discuss the pros and cons of alternative dispute resolution and help you choose the best course of action for your particular situation.