Suffolk County Dispute Resolution Lawyer Helping Clients Resolve Their Legal Issues in New York
Courtroom battles and long-winded litigation processes are notoriously expensive and time-consuming. For those reasons, many turn to a dispute resolution attorney for an alternative way to settle their legal matters without the stress and expenses of a litigated dispute. Learn the basics about alternative dispute resolution options in New York and see how a dispute resolution attorney may be able to help you.
What Is Alternative Dispute Resolution?
ADR or Alternative Dispute Resolution is a set of methods that rely on a neutral party to help opposing parties resolve their differences and reach an agreement without litigation. In other words, it is a way to settle your disagreements without going to trial. ADR methods encourage amicable cooperation instead of conflict and focus on producing an agreement without the interference of the court system. This usually means a legal dispute can be settled in less time and require less in terms of financial resources and labor.
Some of the most common methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution include arbitration and mediation. There are many instances in which a judge may order the parties in a lawsuit to undergo mediation before continuing on to a trial, as this usually presents significant advantages and gives the parties an opportunity to settle their matters by working together rather than fighting it out in court.
What Are the Differences Between Arbitration and Mediation?
Mediation and arbitration are both effective methods of helping parties settle their issues without a courtroom battle. The main differences between the two methods are the level of formality, the role of the neutral party, and whether the outcome is legally binding or nonbinding.
Mediation is less formal than arbitration. During a mediation process, both parties try to communicate and work together with the help of a neutral facilitator – called a mediator. The mediator does not make any decisions and stays neutral throughout the process, simply acting to help each side fully explain their arguments and then work to reach a final agreement. Once a final agreement is written and signed by both parties, it becomes legally binding and can be forwarded to a judge for approval and incorporation into the final judgment if the parties have an ongoing lawsuit.
Arbitration resembles a traditional trial, but it takes place in a more informal setting outside of the courtroom. In most cases, arbitration is a legally binding process in which one or more arbitrators act similarly to a judge, making decisions and giving opinions. Each side may present evidence to support their case, and if more than one arbitrator is overseeing the case, the final decision is made by a majority vote. In other words, an arbitrator is very much like a private judge. The results of the arbitration can be turned into a judgment after approval by the court.
What Happens if I Still Cannot Reach a Resolution?
Unless you have chosen to enter into a nonbinding arbitration, the results of arbitration are almost always legally-binding, but the same is not true for mediation results. In order for mediation to be successful, the parties must be willing to compromise and have some flexibility in order to settle their differences. Sometimes, mediation can fail when one or both parties remain inflexible and unwilling to negotiate.
If mediation fails and no written agreement is produced, the parties are free to bring their matters to the courtroom and seek traditional litigation. However, it is important to understand that unless otherwise agreed, the final decision made by an arbitrator is legally binding and cannot be appealed or overturned, with very few exceptions. If you are unsure whether you should seek mediation or arbitration for your case, speaking to a Suffolk county dispute resolution attorney should be your first step.
Why Should I Work With a Dispute Resolution Attorney?
While it is possible to go through all the steps of ADR without an attorney, there are many reasons you may choose to work with one. First, the goal of dispute resolution is to arrive at a point at which you will be signing a contract with the other party. Without the guidance of an attorney, you may end up agreeing to unfavorable terms or giving up your rights. Second, not all mediators are attorneys, and even if you have chosen an attorney to play the role of the mediator, that person has to remain neutral and cannot give you or the other party any personal legal advice.
By having the guidance of a seasoned alternative dispute resolution attorney, you can have more confidence and peace of mind going into a mediation or arbitration process because your attorney can help protect your rights and help you ensure the terms you agree to are indeed favorable. At the Law Office of Gina M. Pellettieri, Suffolk county area clients can get knowledgeable, professional legal services for a variety of disputes. Whether you would like to explore the option of settling your matters through voluntary mediation or have been ordered to do so by a judge, the legal team at the Law Office of Gina M. Pellettieri has the skills to assist you.
It is a risky move to enter into a legal contract without speaking to an attorney, and the Law Office of Gina M. Pellettieri is well-prepared to protect your best interests while helping you take the right steps to reach an agreement without the expense and stress of a trial. Contact us at 631-250-3698 to learn more.