Mediation and Arbitration (Alternative Dispute Resolution) can, in the right circumstances, offer benefits to both sides in a business dispute. Mediation often results in settlement of a dispute before significant costs have been incurred. It is also helpful in preserving a business relationship where the parties have a disagreement.
Arbitration has its advantages as well. The cost of arbitration can be less than litigation. Arbitration is often faster than litigation and the parties can have significant input into the person(s) deciding the case. On the other hand, arbitration can make it more difficult to obtain information from the other side, may not allow time to properly prepare your case and usually does not provide the opportunity to appeal from an egregious error in law by the arbitrator.
The success of alternative dispute resolution depends a lot on the willingness of the parties to compromise their claims, the skill of the mediator/arbitrator, the timing of the arbitration or mediation and the skill of the attorneys representing the parties.
Willingness to Compromise
Mediation absolutely requires each party to compromise in exchange for a final resolution of their claims. The key to success is in knowing how much of a compromise is reasonable given the chances of success and the costs of pursuing the claim. The Business Dispute Attorneys at Cannon Law, P.C. have significant experience in mediating business disputes and know how to advise their clients on the pros and cons of any settlement offer so that a smart business decision can be made.
Skill of the Mediator/Arbitrator
Not even the best mediator can force parties to reach a voluntary settlement. However, a skilled mediator knows how to point out the weaknesses in each claim and can offer methods of reaching settlement that are innovative.
Skilled arbitrators know how to move cases along while still allowing the parties to develop their cases. They also know how to structure discovery and the hearing so that each party has a fair opportunity to present their case. Most importantly, a good arbitrator knows how to weigh the evidence carefully and correctly apply the law to reach a correct decision.
The training and experience of the mediator/arbitrator is an important factor in selecting the proper person for your dispute. Bill Cannon and Martha Bradley can offer valuable advice in the selection of mediators and arbitrators based upon their knowledge of the particular skills of the candidates and their experience with them as lawyers and judges.
Timing of Arbitration or Mediation
Your dispute may not permit discretion in the timing of arbitration or mediation proceedings. If it does, the odds of a successful outcome increase. The best time for mediation is when each party has enough information to make intelligent decisions but has not invested so much money and time in the dispute that their position has solidified. Depending on the circumstances of each case, mediation may be best when it occurs before any arbitration or litigation has begun or at some point during that process. In some cases, there is little reason to mediate and the parties should go directly to arbitration.
Skill of the Attorneys
Smart attorneys know the difference between trying a case to a judge or jury and presenting the same case in mediation or arbitration. Bill Cannon’s experience in business litigation allows him to recognize when and how to achieve success in mediation and arbitration. For assistance with your arbitration or mediation contact Bill Cannon at Cannon Law, P.C. today.