Valenti Law offers mediation, arbitration and facilitation services. Which service you wish to use will depend upon the nature of the dispute, the parties involved and what kind of outcome you hope to accomplish.
Mediation law refers to a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in which the parties to a lawsuit meet with a neutral third-party in an effort to settle the case. The third-party is called a mediator. It is this person’s job to listen to the evidence, help the litigants come to understand each other’s viewpoint regarding the controversy, and then facilitate the negotiation of a voluntary resolution to the case. The purpose of mediation is to avoid the time and expense of further litigation by settling a lawsuit early on in the process.
Unlike other forms of ADR, mediation is not binding on the parties. In fact, thinking about a mediation proceeding in terms of whether the parties will be bound by the outcome suggests a misunderstanding of the nature of mediation. The mediator’s role is not to reach a decision – it is to help the parties reach their own decision. There is no guarantee that mediation will produce a settlement agreement resolving the case. In fact, in many cases mediation will leave the litigants no closer to reaching a settlement afterwards than they were beforehand.
Arbitration is a legal technique for the resolution of disputes outside the courts, wherein the parties to a dispute refer it to one or more persons (the “arbitrators”, “arbiters” or “arbitral tribunal”), by whose decision (the “award”) they agree to be bound. Arbitration in the United States and in other countries often includes alternative dispute resolution (ADR), a category that more commonly refers to mediation (a form of settlement negotiation facilitated by a neutral third-party). It is more helpful, however, simply to classify arbitration as a form of binding dispute resolution, equivalent to litigation in the courts, and entirely distinct from the various forms of non-binding dispute resolution, such as negotiation, mediation, or non-binding determinations by experts. Arbitration is today most commonly used for the resolution of commercial disputes, particularly in the context of international commercial transactions and sometimes used to enforce credit obligations. It is also used in some countries to resolve other types of disputes, such as labor disputes, consumer disputes or family disputes, and for the resolution of certain disputes between states and between investors and states.
Facilitators impartially guide groups and organizations through the processes of developing a shared view of issues, thinking creatively, evaluating options, making choices and decisions, and committing to action. The role can range from designing and facilitating a single event (e.g. a meeting, workshop or conference) through to providing guidance through an extended process. We can help with:
- Devising strategies
- Improving performance and quality
- Planning projects
- Agreeing upon priorities and action
- Building teams
- Developing effective working relationships
- Forming partnerships and alliances
- Negotiating mergers
- Solving problems
- Resolving differences
If you are unsure about which kind of dispute resolution you need, you’re welcome to contact us, and we will be happy to assist you.