Mediation and Arbitration
Mediation and Arbitration are alternative dispute resolution processes. This simply means that these are mechanisms, other than litigation, for resolving disputes. Mediation is a process whereby two or more parties with a dispute meet together with a neutral mediator who attempts to cause the parties to find a voluntary resolution to their dispute. Arbitration is a process whereby a neutral arbitrator (or a panel of arbitrators) listen to each side present their case and make a determination of the outcome for the parties. Arbitration can be binding or non-binding. Binding arbitration means that the parties are bound by the outcome as opposed to non-binding, where they are not.
When a business litigation matter progresses through the courts in Florida, the parties will almost certainly be required by the judge to go through the mediation process (although they may not reach an agreement). Parties may also choose to mediate a matter prior to litigation. The timing of a mediation is important and is a strategic consideration with regard to how long to wait before mediating and with regard to the amount of discovery conducted and other motion practice that should be completed prior to or after the mediation. Florida rules of civil procedure permit one party to compel mediation by court order.
On the other hand, arbitration is usually done as a substitute for litigation. However, in some circumstances, parties who are in litigation may choose to have a matter submitted to arbitration. If the parties are litigating over a contract, and the contract contains an arbitration provision, a dispute may arise over whether such provision is enforceable. One party or the other may determine that litigation or arbitration is more advantageous and may seek to pursue a claim using one type of process or the other. The party who fails to timely enforce the arbitration provision may waive its protections. Arbitration can be advantageous for some parties for a number of reasons, including the use/selection of an arbitrator with specific industry knowledge or specialized experience and the use of expedited procedures.
The attorneys at Brick Business Law are experienced at participating in alternative dispute resolution procedures related to business disputes including informal settlement negotiations, mediation and arbitration. We have favorably settled numerous highly-contested disputes through these procedures. We have a deep understanding of the processes, available resources and accompanying strategic considerations. If you need an attorney to represent you or your business in informal settlement discussions, mediation, arbitration or otherwise, please do not hesitate to contact us by clicking here.