With the rising costs of litigation, and the backed up court system, more and more would-be litigants are turning to Alternative Dispute Resolution methods like Mediation and Arbitration.
While Mediation and Arbitration can considerably reduce the cost of resolving a case, they are not always ideal. In order to determine the ideal arena for a particular case, an attorney must be familiar with the intricacies and nuances at play in each. At Webb Law Group, not only do our attorneys regularly engage in mediation, arbitration and court trials, we have licensed mediators and arbitrators on our staff.
In Mediation, both parties agree on an impartial mediator who meets privately with each party and discusses the relative merits of each side’s case, then facilitates settlement. Mediation often entails each party making an initial offer followed by efforts by the mediator to close the gap.
Arbitration takes on a more trial-like appearance. Both parties meet together in the same room, along with the arbitrator who acts more like a judge than a facilitator. Today, a growing number of contracts include “Arbitration Clauses,” which are special provisions where the parties to a contract agree to use arbitration as a means to achieve a final resolution. This practice has drawn increasing criticism in recent years due to the disproportionate occurrence of Plaintiff victories. Further, many contracts between big businesses and individuals leave no room for negotiation of the terms due to the disparate bargaining power of the respective parties. As such, the individual signing the contract has no meaningful choice of whether or not to accept the arbitration agreement. When this is the case, courts will sometimes strike arbitration clauses on the basis of being unconscionable (basically meaning unreasonable and unfair).
While the attorneys at Webb Law Group are highly skilled in arbitration advocacy, we recognize that in some cases, arbitration presents a natural advantage to one party. When this is the case, it is best to fight the enforceability of an arbitration clause and negotiate a potential settlement while carrying on traditional litigation.