Negotiation, Mediation & Litigation
Mediation is an opportunity for parties involved in a dispute to meet with a neutral third party to explore options to resolve the dispute. Some mediations are required by the courts when the parties are already involved in a lawsuit. Other mediations are voluntary, where the parties agree to mediate a dispute prior to filing a lawsuit. The neutral third party is usually selected by mutual agreement, and typically is an attorney or retired judge. The mediator does not make a decision or ruling in the dispute, but rather serves as a facilitator of discussions about settlement options. With a successful mediation, the parties can avoid the time and uncertainty of pursuing or defending a lawsuit.
Arbitration can be required or voluntary. Often, if you have a contract, there is an arbitration clause that requires arbitration before or instead of litigation. An arbitrator’s decision may or may not be given the weight of a court decision. Arbitration is designed to be faster, cheaper and easier than litigation – but in practice, that may or may not be true. We can represent you in front of an arbitrator and give you advice as to whether to invoke the arbitration clause in your contract.
When Litigation is the Only Answer
We always try to settle cases in the best interests of our clients. Sometimes, however, despite our best efforts, we have to take a case to trial.
To prepare for any litigation, you need to collect and preserve as much information as possible related to your claims. Our attorneys can assist you in detailing the types of information and documents you will need to collect and preserve. You should also consider what information other people may have, as these other people may be needed as witnesses or can be required to provide copies of relevant documents or communications during the course of any litigation. It is a good business practice and very beneficial in any litigation, if you have and maintain written agreements with other parties and document in writing any oral communications with an email or letter confirming the details of any such communications.