ADR is not only for businesses. As a consumer, you probably have already signed agreements that call for mediation and or arbitration, whether you know it or not. If you are employed or do business with a company, a vendor, a credit card company, a bank, a retail store and most other businesses in America today, you already are involved in an ADR process to handle any number of issues that may arise.
- 1. Are mediation settlements binding and enforceable, isn't mediation voluntary? Yes the process of mediation itself is voluntary. However when we reach a settlement agreement, which we almost always do, that agreement becomes a contract. In writing, our agreements have the same legal protections as any other contract.
- 2. Do both sides need to agree to mediate the case? Yes. In order to effectively mediate, both sides have to be willing to try one session, If they are not satisfied, there is no cost or obligation to continue. After the first session, the parties can work in the same room with the mediator or work separately and privately with the mediator if they so chose.
- 3. Should I get the agreement in writing? Yes whenever possible in writing helps to avoid any future misunderstandings.
When mediation is not appropriate, arbitration is an excellent method to keep your case out of the clogged court system. Arbitration is an alternative law ADR processprocess whereby a neutral party, sometimes referred to as a private judge, is responsible for deciding the outcome of a legal case, outside the costs and confines of a courtroom. Because arbitration is a much quicker and less expensive process that normal litigation, it is one of the fastest growing areas of dispute resolution. It can be utilized in all types of legal cases such as commercial, employment, housing, discrimination, and family disputes. Read more about Arbitration Services