Mediation / Arbitration / ADR
Whether ordered by a court or agreed to by the parties, mediation and arbitration are often favored methods of alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) for potential litigants. These proceedings take a dispute out of the traditional judicial system where filing fees add up and a court’s calendar, particularly now with a backlog of the past few months, can lead to a protracted and expensive process that may not reach a resolution for years. Moreover, because mediation and arbitration proceedings are less formal than litigation, they largely avoid or shorten the discovery process, which often accounts for the majority of the attorney’s fees in a case. In addition, with these alternative dispute proceedings now being conducted virtually, they are easier to schedule and travel time and costs have been eliminated. Richard H. Poulson, an Alameda County-based business lawyer serving clients throughout the Bay Area, can represent you and your business through these proceedings.
Mediations often occur if required by the contract at issue in the litigation or by Court order. This process involves a mediator who tries to get each side of the dispute to re-assess the strengths and weaknesses not only of their position but that of the other side. Mediators do not, however, render any decision or take sides in the dispute. They simply try to navigate the parties to a mutually agreed upon resolution that reduces cost and eliminate the risk of going to trial. One of the most common situations in which people will find themselves in mediation is a dispute over a real estate purchase. Many real estate purchase agreements will contain a requirement that the parties submit to mediation before filing a lawsuit in court. Having an experienced Alameda County business litigation lawyer on your side will help maximize the chances of a successful resolution.
Arbitration, similar to mediation, often occurs when required by the contract the parties are litigating over. Unlike a mediation, which requires the parties to agree to a result, in an arbitration, the arbitrator will render a decision. That decision may be binding or non-binding, depending either on the contract at issue or the parties’ prior agreement. Real estate purchase agreements will often contain a mediation clause, as noted above, and will occasionally require the parties to submit to binding arbitration if the dispute is not resolved at mediation. Binding arbitration such as this acts as a substitute for litigation the dispute in court. The decisions rendered by an arbitrator in this setting will, absent a few technical issues, resolve the matter in its entirety. By agreeing to binding arbitration, you are agreeing that this dispute will be decided by an arbitrator alone and that you are waiving your rights to have your case decided by a jury. While arbitration can provide for a quicker resolution, you need a qualified business litigation lawyer at your side to ensure that your case is presented as compellingly and persuasively as possible.
Whether provided for in the relevant contracts, such as a real estate purchase and sale contract (which often contain mediation and/or arbitration clauses) or one that you have had drafted yourself for your own business, mediation and arbitration can be more efficient and less costly to seek the resolution of a dispute. By avoiding court costs and a protracted process that are integral to litigation, ADR can provide a shortened timeline with reduced expenses. The Law Office of Richard H. Poulson can serve as your business ligation attorney for clients in Alameda, San Francisco, Contra Costa County, and throughout the Bay Area.