Alternative Dispute Resolution is the term for settling civil matters outside of court. ADR can be more cost-effective and more timely than navigating through the expensive litigation channels in the court systems.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a process whereby the parties meet with an impartial person who has been mutually selected by the parties. This person is a certified mediator who has been certified by the SC State Supreme Court. Joseph Good, Jr. is certified in mediation and arbitration by the Court and has been handling negotiations and alternative dispute resolution for many years. The role of the mediation is to leave all of the decision power completely up to the parties involved. The mediator does not render fair decisions based on what he hears from each party. What he does do as act as a “guide” to assist the parties and help them come to some “middle ground” or a reasonable resolution where everyone walks away satisfied with the result.
Often times mediators will ask that the parties agree not to continue litigation during the mediation process and to keep all discussions through the mediation process confidential. The process of mediation usually involves all of the parties meeting for an initial discussion about the issues. This discussion is followed by the parties splitting off into separate groups. The mediator then will listen to each party, in confidence, explain their position separetely while the mediator will then attempt to find some common ground between the parties and have them both agree to the proposed final resolution.
There are many types of mediations including:
- Facilitative Mediation
- Evaluative Mediation
- Neutral Evaluation
- Non-Binding Arbitration
- Neutral Expert Fact-Finding
- Court Appointed Special Masters/Discovery Masters
What is Arbitration?
Arbitration is the most traditional form of alternative dispute resolution. Arbitration is a binding procedure. This means that once the decision is made by the arbitrator (who acts as a judge), the decision is final, just as if the parties had finished a trial by judge or jury. Each party to the dispute, when agreeing to arbitration, is giving up their Constitutional right to a trial by jury. But in giving this right up, they are agreeing to a process that will move quicker towards a fair and impartial resolution and a resolution that will be more cost effective. Litigation can be very expensive and costly; therefore, many litgants often agree to arbitration when they enter into a formal agreement. The arbitration, if a conflict arises, would be governed by the Federal Arbitration Act and the local state’s arbitration rules.