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Mediation and Arbitration

Our firm is committed to the utilization of “Alternate Dispute Resolution” (ADR) as a means of helping clients solve their problems as an alternative to litigation through the following means:

 Mediation

“Mediation” is defined as:
A dispute resolution process in which a neutral third person, who has no power to impose a decision, helps the parties reach an agreement by focusing on the key issues in a case, exchanging information between parties and exploring options for settlement.

In practice, mediation is resorted to after a case has been placed in suit; once the parties have established the basic facts and issues, the parties will select a trusted, neutral individual to serve as the mediator. The mediator’s function is then to meet with the parties–and their attorneys, if the parties are represented–for the purpose of exploring ways in which the conflict can be resolved.

Mediation has become very popular in the past several years, and throughout most Wisconsin counties; often, the Court orders the parties to attempt mediation before permitting the case to go to trial.

There are many advantages to mediation, including the potential for lowering the legal costs associated with the litigation, and perhaps more importantly, the potential for a genuine, heartfelt, and meaningful resolution of conflict.

 

Arbitration

“Arbitration” is defined as:
A dispute resolution process that meets all of the following conditions:

  • authority is given to a a neutral third person (or a panel of neutral third persons) to render a decision that is legally binding;
  • used only with the consent of all parties; and
  • parties present evidence and examine witnesses.

Arbitration frequently arises in uninsured (UM) and underinsured (UIM) motorist claims, since many insurance policies provide that arbitration is the means by which disputed UM and UIM claims are to be resolved. Aside from those cases in which an insurance policy requires arbitration, parties are always free to voluntarily choose arbitration as an alternative to trial.

In practice, the parties select one individual to serve as the arbitrator. Alternatively, there are cases in which each side appoints an arbitrator, and those two designated arbitrators then agree on a third person to complete the arbitration panel. In either case, the arbitrator(s) will hold a hearing and issue a decision, which would then be binding on the parties. The chief advantages of arbitration are that it provides the potential for a more timely completion of a case and, in many instances, it can be accomplished with less expense to the parties.

Alernative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provides an alternative to traditional litigation. At our firm, there is a commitment to encouraging the consideration of ADR in all cases.
This information is intended to be viewed as general information. Your individual situation or needs require consultation with the advice of an attorney. We are here to help you today.