Alternative Dispute Resolution
In some cases, litigation is the most direct and effective route to resolving disputes favorably. However, when circumstances and client objectives favor a different methodology—especially when otherwise successful and ongoing business relationships are at stake—our attorneys are well-versed in the full range of alternative dispute resolution options.
In response to the growing congestion in the nation's courts, private parties, government agencies and industry groups are relying on arbitration whereby a one- to three-person panel decides the outcome of a dispute. This is particularly true for matters in which time is of the essence and delays can be costly to both parties, including intellectual property and securities disputes. The attorneys in our Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice have experience representing clients in a variety of arbitration forums; several of our lawyers have been trained and certified by the American Arbitration Association and other industry groups.
Collaborative law is gaining recognition as a "win-win" alternative to traditional litigation and other adversarial forms of dispute resolution. By focusing on common objectives and interest-based negotiation, collaborative lawyers and their clients enter a process that emphasizes shared information, open communication and a commitment to problem-solving that seeks to minimize the bitterness, costs and injured relationships that can occur with traditional litigation and its emphasis on the victor and the vanquished. It also avoids the "battle of the expert" and makes the lawyers and their clients accountable to each other. The principles of collaborative practice are applicable to a wide range of matters, including labor and employment, probate, corporate, family, wealth transfer and other areas of law.
Whether voluntary, court-ordered or part of an existing contract, mediation is a process outside of the traditional court system that enables parties to sit down under the guidance of a trained mediator and mutually resolve their disputes. The mediator acts as a facilitator, not a judge, helping parties reach settlement rather than deciding the winner and loser. At its best, when both parties are motivated and understand the value of a negotiated, rather than litigated, solution, the result is often a win-win scenario that minimizes costs, needless waste of time and other resources, and allows both parties to get back to the business at hand.